But this summer, visitors to the area might see something new — workers from nearby offices having meetings, or charging their mobile devices at a new outdoor work space designed by Montgomery College students.
The project was the result of a partnership between the College and the Peterson Companies, one of the largest privately-owned real estate development companies in the Washington, DC region and the driving force behind the revitalized Silver Spring downtown area.
Shorieh Talaat, professor of architecture, AIA LEED AP, worked with teams of students in his Principles of Design class during the fall 2015 semester to develop structural drawings for the outdoor offices along with cost estimates, furniture designs and seating plans in 3D CAD. The Peterson Companies required the design to be colorful, easily demountable, and accessible to persons with disabilities.
At the end of the semester, each team pitched their projects in a formal presentation to the Peterson Companies. Representatives from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and family and friends also attended.
The four-member winning team included students Ayite Ayivi, Barbara Caponiti, Thabang Nyondo and Colleen Sagers. The Peterson Companies praised the team for their whimsical and colorful design.
“The Peterson Company Outdoor Office Project was a really amazing opportunity. One thing that our team learned during this competition was the importance of fully understanding the parameters of the design problem, and absorbing the feedback that you are getting from the clients. Doing both of these things made our final design drastically different and better than our initial design,” said Colleen Sagers, captain of the team.
Now, as the warm weather draws near, the team is busy meeting with fabricators and engineers, discussing details and making final revisions.