King Farm, Rockville, Maryland
Location: Rockville, Maryland, United States. New Town
King Farm, Rockville, Maryland
King Farm, a new town outside of Washington, D.C., is located on a 440-acre infill parcel completely surrounded by development. The site, which is currently under construction, lies at the transfer point between the end of a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) subway line and a proposed light rail line. This transit-oriented development utilizes historically appropriate design to create a human-scaled series of neighborhoods.
The site was a family farm that held out on selling for longer than the surrounding areas. This retention of open space made infill growth of this type possible in such a developed area. The King Farm plan envisions a dense, self-sufficient town, unique in that production homebuilders are responsible for its construction. The use of production homebuilders enables a build-out rate that is far faster than what a small builder can accomplish. This speed, combined with the financial viability lent by a lower per-unit construction cost, makes King Farm one of the most exciting projects in the Charter Awards.
“By creatively involving production homebuilders, this design is being built at an impressive rate,” says Ray Gindroz. “ What’s more, it’s good urbanism.” A testament to the viability of New Urbanism, these production homebuilders are displaying flexibility and transgressing normal building practices by enabling mixed-uses and mixed housing types in each neighborhood, and in many cases on each block. This practice is not standard for this type of organization.
King Farm’s 3,200 dwelling units are being built in five unique neighborhoods, each defined by a five-minute walk radius. While the architecture takes its inspiration from Colonial, Georgian, and Victorian tradition, the intent of the town plan is to create a community inspired by the streetcar communities of Forest Hills, New York; Shaker Heights, Ohio; and Lake Forest, Illinois. The Circle neighborhood contains a number of smaller public spaces, with a green circle acting as a commemorative open space. To the immediate south, mixed-use buildings with residences over retail shops characterize the Town Center neighborhood. Each neighborhood is well connected to the others and to the surrounding city by roads, highways, subway lines, and bike trails.
The design philosophy of King Farm integrates use of traditional streets and defined open spaces to create a human scale, parks and squares to forge a strong sense of the public realm, and existing landscape features to create a sense of place. This is inspired in part by the influence of the traditional Mid-Atlantic state town pattern, characterized by a grid-like system of blocks and a central green square.
The town is designed around a light rail line linking the town center to the subway station. Similar to Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, the light rail will be built along the principal boulevard. The town square, town center neighborhood and the office neighborhood are located along this street and mark the proposed stops on the rail line.
Project: King Farm, Rockville, Maryland
Site: A 440 acre infill parcel located within Rockville’s city limits. The site is the projected transfer point between the end of a Washington DC subway line and a proposed light rail line.
Program: A financially feasible transit-oriented town. This plan allows for new growth within a developed area while providing a viable alternative to the automobile-driven suburban model.
Architect/ Planner: Torti Gallas and Partners • CHK
Owner/ Developer: King Farm Associates
Engineer: Loiederman Associates, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Land Design, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Lewis, Scully, Gionet
Development Attorney: Linowes and Blocher
Transect Zone(s): T1 preserve.
Project or Plan's Scale: Town
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Project team designers: Torti Gallas & Partners
Project team developers: King Farm Associates
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