North Bethesda Market is a six-acre, high density, mixed-use urban development that has transformed a suburban parking lot into a new urban center along a major public transportation corridor in Rockville, Maryland. Anchored by a Whole Foods Market, street level features retail and commercial office space with residential apartments and condominiums in high rise space above.
Nelson Byrd Woltz designed all the public outdoor spaces associated with the project including the central plaza, a festival street for outdoor markets, and the street landscapes surrounding the project. The design takes its cues from the local geography, geology, and ecology. Located near the geographic fall line, the fountain at the center of the plaza references this proximity by emulating a waterfall. The striated stone paving is an abstract allusion to the sedimentary bedrock that is typical of the region and underlies the site. Sweetbay magnolia bogs are an unusual ecological community found only in this area; plantings in the plaza reference this unique ecosystem. In addition, NBW collaborated with artist Jim Sanborn who created a site-specific installation in copper and stone inscribed with texts on the natural and cultural histories of the locale.
Collaborators: HKS, David B. Duensing & Associates Inc., Irrigation Research and Design, The JBG Companies, Torti Gallas and Partners, Artist Jim Sanborn