In 2017, DAVID RUBIN Land Collective proudly began a collaboration with developer JBG Smith on a comprehensive landscape master plan to revitalize Fairfax County Virginia’s Crystal City, now known as the National Landing area, through a strategic, all-encompassing approach to development and a redefinition of the site’s connective tissue.
Challenged by vacant office spaces, underwhelming, often brutal facades and entries, and a suburban approach to urbanism, Crystal City was a significant development challenge: disconnected, lifeless, and hardly memorable. But not for JBG Smith. The Chevy Chase, Maryland-based developer was able to see past the infrastructure and aesthetic issues, welcoming the challenge when they purchased the property in 2002 as Vornado Realty Trust. Their forward-thinking approach to the public realm make JBG Smith a perfect partner for our studio, as they, too, acknowledge the value of experience in a well-designed public realm.
The focused plan identified three distinct neighborhoods, unified via the streetscape of Crystal Drive, and includes new residential, office, and retail developments as well as improvements to the surrounding landscape. Simultaneous to the Landscape Master Plan, Land Collective assisted JBG Smith in an effort to conceptualize greater connectivity between adjacent but physically separate Reagan National Airport and National Landing’s future urban landscape. Essential infrastructure updates will make the area more accessible, beginning with the construction of additional entrances to the Metro station at Crystal City and the prospect of a connector land bridge between National Landing and Reagan National, essentially redefining the landscape as we know it.