UPPER ROCK DISTRICT TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT Rockville, Maryland
DPZ developed the master plan for the Upper Rock District Transit-oriented Develop- ment. Less than one mile from the Shady Grove Metro and within walking distance of a proposed light rail stop shared with adjacent King Farm, the Upper Rock District’s location provides an excellent site for a dense, mixed-use neighborhood. The 20-acre site is in Rockville, MD, 24 miles north of Washington D.C. It is bounded by Shady Grove and Choke Cherry Roads, I-270 and the King Farm community. It was part of the 1960’s “Danac Technological Park”.
Currently, an eight-story LEED silver-rated office building is nearing completion in the center of the site and one of the previously existing out-dated three-story office buildings remains. Two additional surface-parked office buildings totaling 117,008 S.F. have already been approved for the site. Further constraints include a requirement of 40% open space and a chemical brownfield component.
Two masterplans were developed during a public design charrette that incorporate program elements such as: public squares, green architecture, an environmental and artistic sound wall, lofts, office, retail, an incubator market, a tele-work center, moder- ately priced dwelling units (MODUs), seniors housing, and structured parking masked by buildings. While the programs are similar, the plans are different. The curvilinear plan (upper left) incorporates buildings with progressive, sweeping curves. The recti- linear plan (upper right) is a more orthogonal network similar to a medieval grid. The most prominent feature of either plan will be the environmental and artistic soundwall which will also serve to mark the gateway to Rockville. The location and orientation of the sound wall is well-suited for solar collection and wind harvesting. Both plans include a restaurant at the corner of Shady Grove and Choke Cherry. Proposed for the building currently under construction are additional two-story structures that create small civic squares and address the street in ways this new building does not. Market buildings serve as moderately-priced incubator office and retail space. The project suggests a reconfiguration of the proposed King Farm parking decks so the pedestrian route from the Upper Rock District to the light rail station is properly done.
MICHAEL GRAVES & ASSOCIATES with DUANY PLATER-ZYBERK AND COMPANY