In the historic Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., architect Torti Gallas and Partners designed a project that might seem at first like an oxymoron: a large supermarket that strengthens the urban fabric.The new Safeway store No. 2912 replaces a previous Safeway building that had followed a typical car-oriented suburban design, with a large parking lot separating the store from the street. The new two-story building places the supermarket on the second floor, above smaller, street-fronting retail stores, with parking accommodated in a garage and deck at the rear.The building reinforces the street edge, its facade subdivided into bays that echo the varied, smaller-scale facades of rowhouses without imitating them directly. Red brick relates to the neighborhoods older buildings, while sun shades and divided-lite windows add a contemporary touch to the visual rhythms.With a prominent two-story corner piece providing access to the grocery store, the buildings design expressly considers shoppers arriving by foot or public transit, and contributes to the walkability of this urban corridor.The store architect was Rounds VanDuzer Architects.
ArchitectureWeek – Context – New Urbanism Now – 2012.0328