Our second residential building in Washington, DC, occupies a highly visible triangular site where 14th Street meets the southwest termination of Maryland Avenue, extending the street wall established by the Federal office buildings that march south along 14th Street. At the same time, Portals V needs to communicate a residential character. To accomplish this we adapted to the horizontal strategies we've developed for tall buildings in New York and other cities, pavilionating the precast concrete facades with a variety of window patterns, bays, and balconies.
A south-facing courtyard carved into the mass reduces the building's apparent bulk and increases the number of apartments opening to spectacular views over the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial. The triangular site presents a slender face to Maryland Circle, where we located the entrance to the rental apartments, which occupy the building's lower floors; the entrance to the condominium residences is located nearby along the south facade, as the building negotiates a site that slopes down 25 feet from east to west. At the roof, our design breaks free from the main masonry mass with a glassier pavilion to accommodate amenity spaces.