A project of sixteen stacked flats and seven townhouses – we designed Columbia Place during the creation of Arlington’s Form-Based Code, to prototype design concepts exploring transitional scale between single-family neighborhoods and higher density urban buildings. LAB used a simple aesthetic of brick facades, storefront entries, and warehouse fenestration to achieve a residential loft character, a departure from the local standard of colonial revival architecture.

The building and zoning codes required creative solutions to optimize interior space, and we adopted a “townhouse” format that allowed two stacked flats within each individual parcel. Ground floor commercial space was included as well, providing retail spaces and live-work flexibility. The townhouse format allowed us to avoid the creation of a single, multi-family building and an associated condominium ownership structure. Yet the exterior design maintains an overall unified appearance, similar in material and scale to the surrounding neighborhood, yet setting a new aesthetic direction for this redeveloping area of Arlington.