MMA invited Brightwood residents to provide input for the multilevel store’s concept. They and the firm wanted to save as much of the original 1908 car barn as possible, so the original trusses and bricks were salvaged and reused.
AMERICAN BUILDERS QUARTERLY
When Massa Multimedia Architecture (MMA) began work on the Georgia Avenue Walmart project in the blighted Brightwood neighborhood connecting Maryland with DC, it aimed to transform the district into “a real destination,” principal Gabriel J. Massa says.
The big-box chain commissioned MMA to transform an aging neighborhood car barn into a singular, out-of-the-box store, and the firm then spent three years negotiating with Washington’s formidable DC Preservation League, several Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and representatives of the community itself to come up with a design. “Typology is important,” Massa says, noting his firm’s efforts to understand local cultures and enlist community support for its work whenever possible.
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