The Westchester

May 12th, 2010

The Westchester, Washington, DC
100,000 S.F.

Strategy: Renovate the public spaces of a 1930’s cooperative with 500+ residents using the following as guiding principles
• Respect the architectural Integrity of the Westchester;
• Provide fiscally responsible options;
• Develop specifications that can be maintained and are lasting in nature;
• Wherever appropriate and possible, consider environmentally sustainable and energy efficient materials and methods
• Improve member-owner safety (consider door hardware, lighting, visibility, etc)
• Enhance the sense of community and the special Westchester ambiance

Results: Notorious for lack of clear direction and decision making, projects involving committees and owners of multi-family residential buildings are often difficult.

Chairing a committee of owner volunteers that included professional interior designers, an architect and other professionals, our original mandate was to work with a consultant to create a Master Plan for restoring all public spaces over a five-year period.. Following a survey and town hall meeting to present guiding principles and process, the initial concept for the Master Plan was proposed.

The overwhelming comments from member owners informed us that a major revision was required; better communication and more involvement for the residents in the process was needed.

Focus groups found consensus around several design elements including using historical elements to define the concepts for carpets. A workshop using dots to show the strength of preference enabled residents to participate in a transparent process of selection. Monthly reports connected the member owners with the workings of the committee, making the process an interactive experience for all involved.

This project was recently featured in DCMud.

Recent Projects:

HITT Contracting
110,000 S.F.

The Westchester
100,000 S.F.

On the Boards:
Francis C. Hammond Middle School
100,000 S.F.