The Apollo is an 8-story, 435-unit apartment and retail building in Washington, DC’s H Street Corridor, a vibrant neighbourhood near Union Station. The building’s relatively large footprint presented an opportunity to create a diverse array of outdoor spaces including a large pool terrace, a generous outdoor grilling and lawn terrace, a dog run, a community garden, four smaller outdoor courtyards, walk-out gardens for several ground-floor units, public streetscapes, and a related public dining court.
The project took an innovative stance toward the interrelation of public and private spaces, with the main lobby to the apartment building housing a coffee shop/bar that encourages activity and welcomes visitors into the building. MKSK worked closely with the architect, SK+I Architecture, in order to conceptualize an outdoor dining court at the street level that complements the lobby and further emphasizes the building’s approach to the intermixing of public and private space.
The two larger rooftop terraces are oriented to views out over the city. On the west terrace, MKSK worked closely with the architecture and structural engineering teams to design a series of terraces that provide adequate depth for the swimming pool. Envisioned as an active space, the pool terrace is flanked by a sculptural trellis that provides shade and privacy from nearby activities. The west terrace also includes an overlook where users can enjoy sunset views over the city while warming around a fire pit. The east terrace includes a large dining and grilling space and a synthetic turf lawn area that can be used for outdoor movies.
The remaining courtyards each have a different character: one is a lush fern garden with seating for small groups, while the other is organized as an orderly parterre with seating for slightly larger groups, the third comprises a larger social space with a series of intimate patios. An expansive community garden provides views of the adjacent streetscape and neighborhood.
Landscape Architects: MKSK
Other designers involved in the design of the landscape:
• Architect: SK+I Architecture
• Civil Engineer: Bohler Engineering
Year completed: 2017
Photo credits: Prakash Patel Photo
Manufacturer of urban or play equipment:
• Ore Inc
• Landscape Forms
• Alfresco Superior Equipment solutions (For grill)
• Danver Cabinets
• EarthEasy (community garden beds & accessible planter tables)