HABS NO. MD-1216 Page 11
reaching from interior masonry piers out to Springhill Lake at the rear of the building and toward Springhill Drive at the front. This roof covered walls of windows enclosing much of the upper floor of the building, which was set into the side of the slope leading from the road to the lake’s edge. On both the west and east sides of the building, box-like rooms, detailed with repetitions of vertical trim, extended from the main community space of the upper floor to overhang the ground floor. Across the back of the lodge, a cantilevered balcony with railing also overhung the lower floor. The front elevation of the building was nearly a mirror of the upper floor of the building’s rear elevation except that it allowed direct pedestrian access from the street via a walkway perpendicular to the building’s façade. A subsequent renovation replaced some of the more modern features with vaguely classical elements, including a roofline around the building imitating a cornice and plain columns across the rear of the building.
The immense complex, employing a few exterior forms and a multitude of interior layouts, mediates between the affordability of standardization and the attractiveness of consumer choice. The buildings are arranged in attached clusters throughout the apartment complex. Frequently two buildings will be connected at their ends to form an apartment row. However, long building rows are avoided in order to facilitate water drainage. In many cases several attached apartment buildings are staggered in order to offer some contour to the façade. In every case throughout the Springhill Lake development, parking lots are removed from the building clusters to create a courtyard atmosphere, wherein several buildings look out upon a common area of grass, trees, or small children’s playgrounds within the courtyard. No directional siting predominates as the buildings address the roads within the development, rather than addressing the sun’s path or the area’s topography. This siting results in a greater variety of views and building arrangements than might occur under other environmental constraints.
The town houses are grouped into three clusters throughout the Springhill Lake complex. Two are immediately proximate to the two community pools – one in section 1 on the northeast edge of the development; the other in section 6 in the middle of the complex. The third townhouse cluster is almost immediately across Springhill Lane, one of the development’s main roads, from the section 6 cluster. (figure)
Included in the proposed site plan are also sections for community amenities which were realized after the development of most of residential units. Near the center of the complex are the retail center, and elementary school, both opened as part of the phased-in development of the complex. On the east edge of the development is a commercial office building, also designed by Cohen Haft. A city-run recreation center was the last significant addition to Springhill Lake, located near the Springhill Drive entrance to the complex. The initial plan also included a section of proposed high rise apartment buildings that were never built. Instead, mid-rise apartments filled out section 9 at the southern end of the development on the corner of Edmonston Road and Breezewood Drive. Additional plans for another section of Springhill Lake were abandoned and developed as high-rise office buildings, known as Capital Office Park, after the construction of the Capital Beltway split the parcel off from the rest of Springhill Lake.