Solea Condominiums is a 62-unit mixed-use development located in the emerging 14th Street corridor of Washington, DC. Built on a challenging, sloped site at the intersection of two major arterial roads in the District, this urban infill development includes two levels of underground parking and retail spaces at the street level, along with four floors of residential units above. With a mission to incubate and preserve local start-ups and micro-businesses, Sorg Architects designed more than 20 percent of the units as live-work residences. In addition, a large percent of the units are set aside for households with incomes below the area median.
The architecture of Solea is reminiscent of the traditional Washington apartment house with projecting bays, interpreted in a modern vocabulary. Building materials, such as corrugated metal panel and stucco, were selected for aesthetics as well as functionality, durability, and affordability. Sorg's design was carefully sculpted to harness elements free of cost, natural light, and volume, which play key roles in the quality of the living spaces. Moreover, the compact, simple floor plan of a U-shaped geometry around a courtyard maximizes efficiency, while providing ample light and air into each of the units.
With extensive integrated sustainable design strategies, Solea is LEED Gold certified under the LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program. The project successfully strikes a balance between cost consciousness and innovation and served as a catalyst for sustainable development that bolsters and stabilizes commercial and residential uses in the surrounding neighborhood.
Awards: Builder's Choice Award, 2010
AIA District of Columbia Chapter, Citation Award, 2009