Fallsgrove Plaza

Rockville, MD

Situated in a prime location near Shady Grove Hospital and in the heart of the medical corridor on Route 270, Fallsgrove Plaza is a 120,000 sf core and shell Class A facility and parking garage that is designed to appeal to a number of prospective tenants. Together with the design team and developer, Fallsgrove Plaza was thoughtfully conceived and constructed to bring a world class commercial facility that seamless blends with and enhances the surrounding suburban landscape.

An existing vacant lot was stripped, graded, and transformed into the new facility. After the site was cleared for construction activities, a support system for the north side was installed. This area would later be supported by a permanent concrete retaining wall. Due to the logistics of the site and sequence of operation, few major structural activities could operate concurrently. Retaining wall work made way for concrete foundations, concrete allowed for structural steel erection. The steel completion allowed for the garage concrete pour and followed by a new crane for precast erection. Demobilization of the final precast crane opened the site back up for utilities, hardscape, landscape, and access for perimeter skin work on the office. Despite the large footprint of the site, it was difficultto find staging and storage areas. This challenge was mitigated by strictly implemented/monitored delivery schedules, prefabrication of many mechanical systems off-site, and an accelerated precast erection schedule.

The office building was the first structure on site to be erected. Deep perimeter concrete foundations supported a 5 story, 75 foot tall steel building with concrete decks. The building’s skin was comprised of brick, metal panels, ribbon windows, and curtain wall. A deep 6” mullion ran between each set of ribbon windows and connected through the curtain wall systems at each building corner. The alignment of this mullion on each floor required specific coordination of all concrete/steel elevations to allow for this continuous band around the building. The core and shell building was planned to have the flexibility to house one large tenant or several smaller suites. This required that the design of the mechanical, electrical, and fire protection systems allow for future expansion. Typical floors were fit out with utility closets, bathrooms, and temporary elevator lobbies. The first floor space received most of the architectural finishes with museum-inspired stone floor, ceramic and millwork wall panels, and feature stone and art-glass walls in the lobby. The City of Rockville requires a certain percentage of total construction value to be applied to original artwork in all new buildings, the art was strategically placed in the main lobby, common corridors, and outdoor sitting areas to create a welcoming environment and allow both tenants and visitors to enjoy the building’s collection of art.

The owner and architect worked to provide an above grade parking structure that would complement the office and surrounding areas while also satisfying the requirements of the adjacent residential neighborhood. The design team worked with the perimeter grades, landscape, and the use of colored precast concrete panels to provide an unobtrusive garage complex. Precast panels were trucked in from Richmond daily and assembled with a large mobile crane. The garage contains 449 parking spaces, utility/storage closets, and a generator room housing one generator for life-safety and two open bays ready to receive tenant generators as needed.

The large job site foot print was quickly taken over by cranes and concrete operations. The depth of foundations and required space for the cranes limited options for site usage and concurrent operations. The design team put a large amount of effort designing a facility that would tastefully stand out in the area without clashing with the aesthetic of the existing buildings. With this goal at the forefront of design, exterior upgrades include an alternating mix of cold materials such as glass, metal and as well as warmer materials such as brick facades and site furnishings that create a timeless, sophisticated suburban building. Fallsgrove Plaza was a challenging job from start to finish but with the support of an experienced owner and dedicated design team, the completed project met the developer’s requirements, the architect’s vision, and a new building and garage on schedule.