June 18th 2014
Recently, MarCom Group’s senior creative staff teamed up with more than 20 local architects and designers in a design charrette to brainstorm ways to beautify the Metro Silver Line right of way and concrete trellises in Tysons, VA.
“As marketing communications and advertising professionals, we sought to bring attractive, creative solutions appropriate to the culture and community of Northern Virginia where we work,” explains MarCom Group Creative Director Curtis Nelson. “This was a way for us to have a stake in what has become a real source of contention.”
“The ultimate goal is to eventually create something so cool it could even become an attraction in and of itself with real visual impact— maybe even a must-see for international visitors taking the Silver Line from Dulles into DC,” added Associate Creative Director Bryan Clark. “So it goes beyond just beautifying an eyesore along the Silver Line.”
Some of the many ideas generated at the charrette included sustainable gardens, fiber optic light canopies, and even a giant pyramid sculpture made from recycled tires towering over the tracks. One unanimous decision was that the concrete trellises should not be painted so as not to compromise the integrity of the concrete and lead to costly upkeep.
Participants also agreed that the area should be connected through a winding pathway beneath the tracks, accessible to pedestrians or cyclists, with places for people to sit beneath the pillars — on benches, in gardens or next to giant sculptures or screens meant to muffle the rush of traffic that will likely still be part of the area.
Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the county’s Board of Supervisors, convened the day-long charrette after developers behind the multimillion- dollar projects underway in Tysons complained about the concrete pillars and bolstered her own misgivings about their appearance. According to county officials, the designs developed at the charrette will serve as a foundation for further discussion about the Metro Silver Line, including how to fund the plans.