The Silva   Washington DC, USA

At the Silva, Grimshaw has embraced the opportunity to create a residential community underpinned by an undeniable sense of place. In addition to creating a dialogue between this inventive new development and the historic Adams-Morgan neighborhood setting of the adjacent Scottish Rite Temple, the design celebrates both the natural and urban landscape of Washington, DC. The Silva offers a timeless architectural expression in a treasured heritage neighborhood, rich in history and texture.

Located in the Meridian Hill Historic District, the Scottish Rite Temple is characterized by its monumental presence along the broad formal parkway-like character of the 16th Street corridor. The Silva echoes the simplicity of the Temple’s volumetric massing. The temple also inspired the complimentary material and color selections. The unique, rhythmic window placement that defines the Silva’s facade cleverly gains more floor area at each projection while reorienting views towards the church spires that dominate the intersection of Columbia Road and 16th Street. To complete the picture, local artist MasPaz created a mosaic artwork at the new residential entrance that echoes the intricate, colorful front door details of the Temple.

Inside, a series of connected public and outdoor spaces are shared by the 172-unit community. Upon entry, residents pass a lounge, the gym and the mail room on their way to the elevators. At each floor’s elevator lobby, a floor to ceiling window provides daylight and glimpses of the courtyard garden and adjacent buildings. Views to the exterior courtyard are found throughout the interior amenity spaces, connecting residents with natural light and the outdoors.

An all-day in-house café serves everything from coffee in the morning to drinks in the evening, inviting residents to stop for a chat or meet new neighbors. A landscaped rooftop takes advantage of expansive views to the National Mall including the US Capitol and the Washington Monument. In a time when many people are working from home, or spending less time in public venues, these additional spaces are invaluable in creating a sense of well-being and connectedness to other residents and the neighborhood.

Beyond its aesthetic sensibilities, the Silva also integrates passive housing principles to optimize building performance. The systems employed improve the comfort of residents mindful of environmental sustainability. The architecture of the Silva has been created just for this site, and for this moment, offering both stylish and comfortable urban living opportunities. From the private courtyard to the plentiful shared amenities, no design detail has been overlooked.

Washington DC, USA

Project Type
Living →


175,000 sq f



Ron Ngiam, courtesy of CORE architecture + design, Miguel de Guzman