WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Burnham Place at Union Station Master Plan has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) with one of its highest honors, Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design. Developed by Shalom Baranes Associates (SBA) on behalf of DC-based real estate firm, Akridge, the plan ties together three million square feet of mixed use air rights development with a multi-level expansion of Union Station and the surrounding neighborhoods. SBA and Akridge joined Amtrak and its team of Parsons Brinckerhoff, HOK, and LAB, Inc. to develop a framework to triple the station's capacity, improve passenger experience, and enhance the vitality of the city and region.
"This planning assignment has the most complexity and the greatest opportunity for local and regional impact of any initiative we have taken on," said SBA Principal Shalom Baranes. "We have to balance the objectives of a thriving commercial development with the goals of transit riders, Capitol Hill and NoMa neighbors, and local, regional, and federal planning and economic development authorities. Our plans must also respect and enhance the historic station."
The plan incorporates twelve buildings, a grand civic plaza and a linear park and bike path with new rail, bus, streetcar, taxi, and parking facilities. "Each Burnham Place design decision impacts three to five distinct vertically stacked uses below us," said Baranes.
At the center of Burnham Place is a dramatic Train Hall, designed by HOK, which will provide natural light to passenger and shopping spaces. "This has truly been a collaborative effort with Amtrak's team," said SBA Principal Mark Gilliand. "We jointly set out to create a unified concept. Burnham Place will thrive because of its connectivity with the station, and passengers and station visitors will benefit from the proximity of vibrant and dynamic urban spaces."
Recipients of this AIA award are recognized for their thoughtfulness and advancements in urban design, city planning, and community development. "We are honored that the AIA has recognized Shalom Baranes' carefully balanced planning work to date and the tremendous regional influence this project will have," said Akridge President, Matthew J. Klein. "We look forward to the collaboration ahead with the multitude of stakeholders who will enhance this framework and come together to make this project a reality."
Submissions for the 2013 awards were judged by a jury of five individuals: Mark Shapiro of Mithun, Inc., Ellen Dunham-Jones of Georgia Institute of Technology, William A. Gilchrist of Place Based Planning, Toni L. Griffin of The City College of New York, and Thomas E. Luebke of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. The Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design will be formally presented in June in Denver, Colorado.
About Shalom Baranes Associates
Shalom Baranes Associates, PC is a 150 person Washington, DC architectural firm with an acclaimed reputation for its expertise in master plan, governmental, commercial, residential, and institutional design. The firm provides full architectural services for an international clientele that includes both private and public sector groups.
Established in 1981, Shalom Baranes Associates has played an integral part in shaping the development of the National Capital Region. The firm's strength and growth have been based on its ability to design and gain approval for complex and often controversial projects. The firm has strong ties to, and is highly respected by, the community of officials who participate in the architectural review process and has often been asked to advise and consult with these review agencies on policy decisions.
During the past thirty-two years, Shalom Baranes Associates has designed projects whose value exceeds four billion dollars and thirty million square feet and received over 40 AIA design awards. The firm's buildings have been located primarily in the mid-Atlantic region with several master planning projects located abroad.
Akridge is a comprehensive real estate services company that provides acquisition, development, construction management, asset management, property management, leasing, and consulting services. Founded in 1974, the company has acquired or developed more than 12 million square feet of commercial space and currently manages four million square feet throughout the DC area. The industry's foremost benchmarking firms, CEL & Associates, has ranked Akridge the number one real estate firm in the country for Client satisfaction, among firms of similar size, ten times since 1999. Akridge is committed to sustainable development and practices, and has been recognized as an Energy Star Top Performer and Partner of the Year. The company has also been honored with the National Capital Business Ethics Award, and has been recognized as the Best Place to Work in Greater Washington by the Washington Business journal. For more information, please visit www.akridge.com. For more information about Burnham Place, please visit www.burnhamplace.com.