• 7981 Eastern Ave NW, Silver Spring, MD 20910

  • Client:  Ecohousing and Poretsky Builders

  • 56 units plus live/work units and artist studios

Eastern Village Cohousing

The site is located within the Silver Spring Enterprise Zone and the Arts and Entertainment District in Montgomery County, Maryland. The front of the property borders the District of Columbia and an underutilized County parking garage is located directly behind the property. The existing 4-story, U-shaped office building, with a paved parking lot in the center was constructed in the mid-1950’s and had been vacant for several years.

The program called for the adaptive reuse of the office building as a mixed-use project.  The project consists of approximately 80,000 SF for a 56 unit cohousing condominium, approximately 15,000 SF of commercial condominium space in a separate wing of the building for live/work use, and artist studios with the opportunity for an art gallery.  Typical of cohousing, the future residents were included in the design process.

The architect’s vision was to transform the site, which was 95% impermeable prior to redevelopment, into an urban garden.  This entailed transforming the parking court in the center of the site to a garden and entry court yard, the incorporation of a “green screen” into the front facade with trellises supporting deciduous vines, and a green “living” roof with plantings that provide rainwater runoff control and thermal protection.  Occupants enter residential units via a new covered walkway along the perimeter of the courtyard. The walkway is designed to act as a front porch and encourage interaction among residents.  The railings feature planters that individual owners maintain giving the courtyard the look of a hanging garden.  The project received a LEED Silver certification.