Ripley Street North


Ripley Street North

LocationSilver Spring, MD
ClientHome Properties
ServicesSite Design, Construction Documentation, Construction Observation
Site Area1.5 ac (0.6 ha)
Budget$800,000 USD
Date2009 - 2013

OCULUS designed green roofs, biofiltration gardens, and outdoor amenity spaces for Ripley Street North, a new residential development incorporating high-rise and mid-rise residential buildings. Outdoor amenity spaces include a rooftop swimming pool terrace and a fifth-floor level roof garden that can be used for social events. A 35-foot (9 m) tall wooden screen separates the garden from an adjacent parking garage and helps to establish a unique atmosphere for the garden. Additional roof-top planters provide biofiltration for stormwater, advancing the client’s sustainability goals.

In conjunction with the residential development, OCULUS designed a new public park. The park centers on an outdoor room, designed in collaboration with artist William Cochran. This space celebrates the work of noted environmental writer and former Silver Spring resident, Rachel Carson. Planting and paving weave in and out of a light metal structure that holds glass panels etched with Carson’s words. This conscious weaving and overlap of natural and architectural elements was developed to reflect Carson’s message about the interrelationships between human, plant, and animal communities.

Carson’s continuing legacy and influence is also celebrated in the design’s sustainable features, such as the careful choice of native plant species that provide forage and habitat for wildlife as well as the use of porous pavement that increases infiltration and reduces stormwater runoff.