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Back to Portfolio Watershed Community Center

Elm Street Development

Location Laurel, Maryland

On the edge of the Federal Wildlife Refuge in Anne Arundel county, the watershed is a housing development surrounded and engaged with nature.

At its center, the community center serves as a gathering place for the residents. Designed as central gathering place in a natural landscape, the compact plan takes advantage of the topography to stack program and minimize the footprint and impact of the building in the environment. The two story community building steps with the sloping grades to take advantage of framing views of the refuge and surrounding areas. The unique roof profile harvests rain on both sides, utilizing a cistern on the east to collect and store the water, while on the west, a decorative rain chain is activated with the rain fall and leads the water flow down to a stone fall way that ties the building artfully and directly to the stormwater management.


The building is organized with wellness amenities on the lower level to serve the pool, fitness rooms and workout spaces both indoors and outdoors. The front walk has been engraved with a low relief of the Patuxent watershed, emphasizing the sense of place. Graphics and displays are set on the upper level to inform the community about the site, the federal wildlife refuge and surrounding natural wonders. The balance of the first floor is a community room for informal and formal occasions overlooking the wildlife refuge.

Project Details

Project Cost $2
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