With gratitude and goodwill to give back to local communities, SK&A participated in this pro bono project that transformed the Congress Heights neighborhood of Ward 8 in Southeast, Washington, DC into a unique farm and wellness center, which promotes healthy food, youth education, and community gatherings. The site will also host local art features as well as theater and dance performances. Nestled in a one-acre site, the Well at Oxon Run will offer seasonal crops, a pick-your-own flower garden, a farm stand, an orchard with chickens, a greenhouse, herb and pollinator gardens, and a large youth garden with an outdoor classroom.
To accommodate the site’s various functions, more than a dozen outdoor structures such as a classroom, forest gate, Avery cage, ceremonial gate, and library were designed using materials such as steel, wood, aluminum, and concrete. SK&A teamed with a woodcraft specialist and used mass timber and special wood connections to present a natural and environmentally friendly atmosphere in the design of the structures. Customized steel connectors were created and detailed for aesthetics, strength, and corrosion control throughout the design process. In addition, various steel structures with eccentric loading conditions were encountered and solutions were reached using curved glulam beams with cantilevered supports.