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Appian Corporate Terrace

McLean, Virginia
Snapshot

Appian Corporation had a vision of creating a natural space where their staff could relax and unwind. To bring this vision to life, Mahan Rykiel conducted a feasibility study on the terraces of the office building and provided landscape design services. The main aim was to create more usable space for gatherings, offering diverse seating options, custom shade structures, and maximizing the views. The design was accomplished without incurring significant costs, thanks to the creative use of existing structural elements. Mahan Rykiel achieved this by adapting the existing structure and planter walls to create a raised terrace. This redesign provides not only more usable space but also takes full advantage of the stunning city views. The terrace offers a beautiful and functional outdoor space for Appian Corporation staff to enjoy and utilize for various events and presentations.

Owner

 Appian Corporation

Awards
  • MD ASLA Merit Award 2024
Key Features
BUILDING A CREATIVE FOUNDATION

The Landscape Architect began the design process by learning about the site, analyzing existing conditions, and listening to the Client about their goals for the Project. These efforts created a foundation from which the design process was built upon.

Existing Conditions and Opportunity
ESTABLISHING A GATEWAY & CONTEXT

The existing rooftop space is situated atop one of the most iconic buildings in the Tyson Corner/Greater Washington, DC area, which offers prominent views to the terrace from the surrounding community and regional roadways, as well as expansive views from the terrace to Downtown Tysons Corner. These views were incorporate into the design to celebrate the Client’s identity and presence in the Community.

Context of Appian Roof Terrace - Mahan Rykiel Associates
DESIGN PROCESS

The Landscape Architect developed a series of preliminary designs for the terrace and worked through a variety of refinements based upon Client, General Contractor, and Design Team coordination. A variety of hand graphics, renderings and 3D models were used to develop and present the design. The conceptual designs drew inspiration from the angular architecture, with modern forms and spaces creating layers of landscape amenities.

Appian Roof Terrace Design Process - Mahan Rykiel
BUDGET EVOLVES THE DESIGN

Upon completion of Design Development, financial constraints and pandemic-related cost hikes compelled the Client to scale back their favored concept. The Landscape Architect faced the task of trimming costs by 50%, scrutinizing elements driving expenses while maintaining the vision of a top-tier amenity space. Budgets wield significant influence, demanding innovative redesign to realize an ambitious project within financial bounds.

Appian Terrace budgetary strategy
CREATIVE APPROACHES TO VALUE ENGINEERING

To save on project costs, the Landscape Architect led a detailed analysis and review of the existing rooftop terrace and its infrastructure. The goal was to identify creative ways to retain as much of the structure as possible – which in turn would yield cost savings. The team analyzed the reuse of existing drains, retention of site walls, infrastructure and other utilities. These studies informed the approach to the requested redesign effort.

CREATIVE APPROACHES TO VALUE ENGINEERING
A RENEWED VISION

The Landscape Architect developed a renewed vision for the terrace that built upon the goals, values and culture the client envisioned for its workplace–ultimately, delivering a world-class experience – while conforming to a reduced budget–saving the Client $1.6 million dollars!

A RENEWED VISION
REVIT DOCUMENTATION & TEAM LEADERSHIP

The Landscape Architect documented the terrace design using REVIT, which allowed for detailed coordination with the consultant team. The ability to design live in three dimensions was also a valuable tool in working around and retaining existing conditions. Modeling also allowed for easy communication of design intent to the Client – which offered realistic depictions of form, space and function that was accurate through implementation.

Appian Terrace REVIT DOCUMENTATION & TEAM LEADERSHIP
TRELLIS DESIGN & INSPIRATION

As the central focal point of the terrace renovation, significant time was spent drawing inspiration from woodlands, the modern design of the building and the surrounding site context to create a design that was bold and inviting. Analysis assisted the Landscape Architect in placing the trellis amenities and determining their heights and extents, while 3D modeling enhanced the communication of the preferred design to the Client.

Appian Terrace TRELLIS DESIGN & INSPIRATION
AN ICONIC FOCAL POINT AND VISION EMERGES

The proposed trellis features a dramatic design rooted in research and inspiration. Its multi-post columns draw inspiration from stands of slender woodland trees, while the angular forms take queues from the geometry of the adjacent architecture. The result is an iconic design that anchors the terrace, while creating a visual focal point within the greater Tysons Corner community.

The terrace renovation, anchored by the shade trellis designed by the landscape architect, shields various conversation areas, bar rail seating, and a movable stage from the sun and elements. The raised terrace lifts users up, offering views and connection to Tysons Corner and beyond. Other key highlights include the flexible activity lawn, focused planting areas and timeless materials.

A MODERN OASIS

The terrace features a variety of gathering spaces, uses and design features that are rooted in a simple and modern design aesthetic. Layered materials, patterns and artistic elements were carefully designed to further enhance the user experience. Dramatic lighting features were incorporated into the final design to allow for color changing for company events, holidays or other activities.

Appian Terrace - A MODERN OASIS
SUSTAINABLE ELEMENTS AND WELL-BEING IN MIND

Beyond the successful design and implementation, the project incorporated numerous aspects of sustainability, Well-being and SITES initiatives into
the final terrace design. The result is a successful project that enhances the built environment, user experience and community beyond.