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Tysons Corner Center
McLean, VA


Mark Rios
Sebastian Salvadó
Asaf Dali
Brent Jacobsen


The opening of a new light rail station, hotel, residential tower, and office building adjacent to this suburban Virginia shopping mall presented an opportunity to create a new front door for a burgeoning urban center. Our design focuses on two interlocking ellipses, one hardscaped, the other a man-made meadow. Their geometries define large, distinct spaces for unique program elements, that contrast dramatically with the surrounding development's orthogonal nature. Together, they create an iconic and unique design language that increases the plaza's visibility and prominence as a place where all manner of people interact.

The area’s history as a peach orchard (Tysons Corner was originally named Peach Grove) inform the site’s shape, patterns, and color palette. From the ground level, visitors experience the plaza as an oversize peach
basket. Up on the plaza level, iconic peach-hued benches and seatwalls meander the perimeter like a lazy river, eddying frequently to create spaces for a myriad of activities. Their tubular steel construction and semi-circular shape carry on the basket metaphor. The grassy meadow also harks back to a pastoral era, and fills a critical need for passive recreation space.

Metro passengers disembark directly onto this floating urban plaza, which hovers at the same height as the station platform, 30 feet above ground. The hotel, residential tower, and office building also connect to this hub at the plaza level. A massive skylight creates connectivity and communication between the plaza and ground levels. During the day, sunlight streams through the plaza floor to the hotel’s porte-cochere below; at night, artificial light shoots up through the oculus and illuminates the plaza.