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Award-Winning Designs: The Alta at Thomas Circle

Every year, the Maryland chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognizes outstanding projects by its members. This condo building, designed by the Georgetown firm Cunningham + Quill Architects, took home an award in the residential, multi-famil

The Alta at Thomas Circle. All photographs by Maxwell Mackenzie, Paul Burk

The Alta, in DC’s Thomas Circle neighborhood, seamlessly blends modern architecture and city living with green building strategies. The steel pergola on the roof, which supports climbing plants, is a modern twist on a traditional architectural element. The building’s 126 swanky one- and two- bedroom condos have nine-foot ceilings with exposed spiral ductwork, European-inspired porcelain tiles, and stainless steel appliances. The eight penthouses on the top floor range from 995 to 1,310 square and offer views of the Washington Monument. Residents can enjoy ground-level retail, a second-floor lounge, and a parking garage.

The new building received a green-building certification from the city. Compact fluorescent lighting and water-saving appliances lower energy consumption and reduce costs. Environmentally friendly paints and carpets improve indoor air quality, and window glass maximizes solar efficiency.

The jury praised the building: “There is a comprehensive understanding of urban living from the retail and ground floor all the way up to the living units, integrated completely with a very innovative and appropriate use of sustainable strategies.” Let’s hope the city’s urban residential architecture continues in this direction.  What do you think? For more information on The Alta at Thomas Circle, click here.