Developers Foulger-Pratt and Willco approached HDG to design the public spaces at Core, a 292-unit apartment building in downtown Silver Spring. Our mandate was to veer away from recent trends toward dark-stained woods and moody interiors, instead of focusing on a fresh, lighter feel that would also connect with nature.
We chose a palette of goldenrod and burgundy to pop from the neutral background that incorporates organic materials such as stone and wood. Standout details include a colonnade of birch logs lining the elevator lobby; carved panels in the mailroom whose cutouts resemble the cells of a leaf; and a wall mural in the fitness area that depicts the rocky side of a mountain.
We designed the common areas to be multi-functional gathering spaces, which was especially important here, where square footage was at a premium. There are opportunities everywhere for individual pursuits—high-backed settees keep phone conversations private—or for work meetings around open tables or banquettes. Upstairs in the clubroom, residents can watch a movie in comfy lounge chairs; play pool, or mingle at the bar. We compensated for the unattractive “storefront” windows surrounding the space with more organic detail: The millworkers used lumber to create a sculptural grid across the glass that preserved the light and the view but distracted from the windows themselves. With the vibrant Georgia Avenue streetscape outside and an energetic, nature-inspired design within, “Core” is an entirely apt moniker for this new apartment building.