Archstone 1st & M, also known as Square 673, is one of Washington, D.C.'s newest—and already one of its most popular—high-end apartment properties. The $100-million residential development features 469 rental units outfitted with high-end fixtures. The complex also has upscale amenities, including indoor and outdoor movie theaters, a sports club and lounge, a pet salon, a Starbucks, and a rooftop pool and spa.

Constructing some of these amenities proved challenging. The outdoor movie-projection system, for instance, took extensive planning and coordination. After trying out several options, the project team opted to locate the projector inside the development's fitness center, 35 ft from the screen.

The project also included a vast amount of LED lighting, including some installed directly into the brick building's facade. Further, to create a halo effect, contractors used LED light tape, which was recessed within the millwork surrounding each apartment's entrance.

The apartment building's 5,000-sq-ft fitness center contains an oxygen-producing green wall. Track lighting provides a constant 150 ft-candles of light to promote plant life.

Contractors completed the project roughly four months ahead of schedule and under budget. The project experienced zero lost-time accidents over the two years of construction.


Archstone 1st & M, Washington, D.C.

Key Players

Owner/Developer Archstone/AvalonBay Communities

Design Firm Davis, Carter, Scott Ltd.

General Contractor Paradigm Construction Co.

Structural Engineer Cagley & Associates

Civil Engineer VIKA Inc.

Electrical Engineer Power Design Inc.

Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer Williams Group Inc.