The Best Architecture of 2020

JL Architects, Cedar Park Shopping Center, Vienna, VA

Type of project: Repositioning

Size: 80,673 s/f

Cedar Park Shopping Center is a staple of the Vienna, VA retail landscape – the only shopping center within a 2-mile radius. It was built in many stages starting in the 1950’s. In 2017 the owner, First Washington Realty, targeted the asset for an upgrade to improve performance and service to the community. JL Architects identified the need to create a community gathering space and to enhance the experiential nature of visiting Cedar Park Shopping Center. Features that contribute to that goal include the updated façade with new signage, greater street visibility, outdoor gathering spaces and benches, new general and accent lighting, bike parking, a new parking field with superior handicap accessibility, and EV charging stations. The center now presents a “small-town” feel and a place to meet.

Why was this particular job your favorite/most unusual?

We feel strongly that commercial centers are a core foundation of a strong community. Without First Washington’s dedication and willingness to make the investment the community would be left with just another outdated and underutilized strip center.

What single aspect do you like the best?

Outside of how pleased we are with the overall appearance, we feel the new wayfinding signage and sustainability features create a greater community awareness. Sustainability features include the bioretention/rain garden and EV charging.