At Piazza Alta, BKV Group leveraged light gauge steel construction to create a new community that satisfies the demands for greater density buildings, forming the buildings as as series of steel stud framed buildings over a two-story concrete podium. This strategy creates a variety of scales for the large development of 1,166,980 GSF. The tallest tower elements, at 16 stories tall, form a backdrop to a central courtyard plaza edged by retail occupancies in the smaller scale buildings that surround the plaza. This plaza connects a newly designed woonerf on Germantown Street to North Hancock Street, which integrates the site into the urban fabric.

client: post brothers
Type: Market-Rate
Size: 1,166,980 GSF; 1,144 units

The North Hancock Street side of the site is of a lower scale to relate to the adjacent single-family townhouses, with the Germantown Avenue side relating to the more public and retail edge as well as multi-family scale of Schmidt’s Commons. Nearly 682,000 square feet of residential space contains 1,144 market-rate apartments. Piazza Alta’s second floor features amenity space, which extends via skybridge across the courtyard. In addition, an amenity deck is located on the fifth floor, situated above the existing parking garage with two pools and robust lounge areas.

Creating Community Using Light Gauge Construction

It’s with light gauge steel’s Type 1 material and componentized steel wall construction methodology that allows BKV to not only build on a wide variety of sites and contexts, but also leads to lower per square foot costs and faster construction schedules. In addition, with land costs fixed, this building typology gives BKV the versatility to flexibly meet our clients’ Pro Formas regarding cost per unit.

In the end, what our firm is doing is overcoming constraints related to cost, constructability, schedule, and verticality. As a result with Piazza, BKV designed a high-density, mixed-use community in an urban core, spurring a new wave of residents into the Northern Liberties community, while enhancing the surrounding neighborhood and delivering a product that residents are proud to call home.