February 2024

Page 50

A final rendering of Storey Park project depicts the residential component and seven-story bridge. Image courtesy of HKS Architects.

The Story of a Truss: Storey Park By Macenzie Smith, Seth Rogge, and Chris Woitowicz


torey Park, located in the heart of the NoMA (North of Massachusetts Ave) neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C., was previously the site of an old Greyhound bus depot lot. Situated near the Metro entrance and adjacent to Union Station, this unique city block of land was ready for redevelopment. With such a large block in a prime location, the development team quickly realized this building would embody the true spirit of mixed-use development (Figure 1). With three levels of below-grade parking, the original design of a U-shaped building could accommodate several uses. Initially programmed for an office building on the west side and apartments on the east side, the building had a natural delineation between these two functions both in façade and floor plate. Needing to look like one building, the ground floor and the roof were at the same elevation; but with office floors requiring more floor-to-floor height, the west office building had two fewer floors than the residential building. Strategically locating columns between the two functions allowed

48 STRUCTURE magazine

the building to be laterally still tied together without the unnecessary burden of an expansion joint (Figure 2). The design was completed, permitted, and ready to construct with one exception: an office tenant. With prime ground-floor retail and a white-hot residential market, the office tenant was the last piece of the puzzle. As time dragged on and the office market continued to suffer, change was inevitable. Revising the office to residential space was, unfortunately, not a viable option. The solution was the next best alternative for the area: a flagship hotel. Given the current square footage, a new hotel program would require more space. With the Washington D.C. height restrictions, going vertical was not an option. The only logical option was to connect the U-shaped building and make it donut-shaped. However, due to parking and planning requirements along with other zoning ordinances, only the top seven floors could be connected together. With a span of over 60 feet x 60 feet, floors 7 through 13 would be connected together. The challenge: the area below the new connection needed to be free and clear of columns and other structural framing.

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