Plano-Coudon Constructs Co-Living Space from Former Church

Plano-Coudon Constructs Co-Living Space from Former Church

March 16, 2021 – The construction of Viva at Capitol Hill inspires a unique vision of the future of living and community in Washington, DC. This renovation project, developed by Square and Lot, was recently completed with Plano-Coudon Construction as the general contractor and is now available for lease. The 8-unit, 47-room co-living space melds the existing historical structure with an innovative, contemporary design.

As one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in D.C., 331 15th Street NE was once home to a church and then abandoned. The construction of Viva required historical preservation, as the front façade still maintains its original character. The new development is uplifting to the surrounding community as a lively, new purpose emerges from the former bones.

Teass \ Warren Architects was the architectural designer for this venture, and their choices were creative and intentional. Will Teass elaborates, “Converting a former urban church building into a new, modern co-living apartment building is certainly a challenge. Maintaining the architectural character of the existing façade was a design priority. The vertical addition is set back from the front façade which allows for additional windows and better access to daylight. This results in a sympathetic composition that masks the height of the overall building while allowing the charm of the original structure to shine through.”

The pre-furnished co-living units feature either six beds and six bathrooms or five beds and four bathrooms, one kitchen each, and balconies. Will Teass remarks, “All of the units look out onto the common courtyard amenity, providing a lush backdrop while also creating a social gathering space for the inhabitants.”

Viva offers a 400 sq ft Green Roof, a modern sustainability practice in addition to the inherent environmental benefits of co-living. This project also completed the construction of a bioretention facility for storm management.

Plano-Coudon was collaborative and accommodating through design changes, determined to fulfill the client’s vision. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, proactive measures were taken to promote safety for future residents. Viva is now equipped with modernizations to conquer the concerns of the pandemic within a communal living space. This includes electronic, non-touch locks and an air purifying system that filters out harmful particles. The back patio and outdoor kitchen are features that encourage safe social gatherings. Additionally, P-C performed weekly cleaning services for residents.

Viva is a new-age way of living. This co-living style is a useful and affordable option, particularly for college students and young professionals in the area. Viva, meaning “to live,” is an optimistic symbol for the future of being together. Central in a spirited, urban environment, Viva is both the comfort of home and the opportunity for social interaction that is now safely made possible. Plano-Coudon is honored to have been the general contractor for this exciting and innovative project.




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