The design challenge was to create a vibrant village like development for living and shopping between an established residential neighborhood and important stop on the New Haven line to Manhattan. We concerned ourselves with place making, responses to the surrounding scale and architecture, and physical links through and around our site.
This type of development requires a critical mass to make it viable and we also needed to respond to the scale of the streetscapes that bound our property so we began there. The structure along West Avenue is separated into 2 distinct buildings connected by a raised pedestrian bridge. Separating the building allows us to break up the massing along West Avenue and more importantly create a sense of arrival for the residential portion of the building. Federal Realty sees these apartments as a continuation of the quality associated with Darien so it was important that a prestigious address have an arrival sequence that matched, hence what we call the West Avenue Courtyard. This courtyard off West Avenue serves 2 purposes. It is the arrival point for our building, and also, a pedestrian link for West Avenue residents that follow this central axis into through the site.