Architecture as Placemaking

Focus Area Design

Rendering of couple walking toward Long Bridge Park Aquatic Center through landscaped parking lot

We create places and spaces that help define the identity of a community

Every building project has to address unique client needs, overcome challenges and satisfy code requirements. Architectural design must address these fundamentals, but can do so much more. In each commission, Page aspires to identify and leverage opportunities to achieve a project’s full potential in both performance and aesthetics. Across projects of all types, scales and budgets, we weave program, architecture and site to define a unique sense of place.

While we bring this ambition to all of our projects, it is especially important for civic or community spaces. Public buildings express ideals and tell stories. They help visitors understand and identify with the community to create a sense of belonging. Although their forms, materials, and programs are wildly different, the underlying goal for these project types is the same: architecture that delivers a memorable experience specific to its site and its organization’s mission.


  • Architecture
  • Building Sciences
  • Civic / Government
  • Interiors
  • Planning / Urban Design

Preserving traditional construction methods

The 12-acre National China Garden at the United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. will be the finest example of a Chinese garden in the U.S. and a symbol of friendship and collaboration between the two countries. While the original garden structures date to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), Page had to ensure the replicas integrated modern building systems necessary for code and ADA compliance.

Rendering of replica pagodas at National China Garden in Washington DC
© Page

To reflect historic accuracy, the buildings utilize traditional structure and joinery so that visitors can appreciate the heavy timber construction. However, Page designers concealed all traces of modern equipment or materials. HVAC systems are hidden in the ceiling structures or carefully integrated into screen details. This dedication to authenticity ensures a highly immersive experience.

Rendering of couple in front of replica historic pagoda
© Page

Innovating a landscape connector

Long Bridge Park transformed an 18-acre brownfield site in Arlington, Virginia into a civic asset but a tight budget did not permit completion of all elements at that time. Page, general contractors Coakley Williams and aquatic specialists MJMA subsequently won the aquatic and fitness center with a crisp and modern design form that echoes the faceted geometries of the landscape, so that the volume appears to arise from the site.

Aerial rendering of Long Bridge Park
© Page

The design team wanted the roof and walls appear as one to relate the building directly to the ground planes of the park, like an origami composition. Doing so also would limit the potential for leaks in the roof, which spans from 140 to 200 feet. Due to the length needed, it was not an option to fabricate the roof panels in the factory and deliver to the site so the team collaborated with the manufacturer to set up their “factory” onsite.

Inside out

Today’s libraries have expanded to also become local resources for educational, cultural and recreational programs and services. The Robinson-Westchase neighborhood library, built in 1991, needed to be reconfigured to meet the expectations of today’s users. Although the durable brick exterior was in good condition, the tight façade darkened the 18,000 square foot interior, which did not convey welcome or openness to the community.

Interior of double-height library with clerestory windows at top
© Jonathan Dean Photography

In a design/build partnership with Balfour Beatty, Page developed a design that effectively utilizes daylighting while minimizing glare or heat gain. The interior space was reconfigured to improve sightlines, ease customer service functions, and define new zones, including a teen lounge and flexible community spaces. A new, tall glazed entry hall is easily seen from the street, a gesture of welcome that eases wayfinding.

Colorful library reading room
© Jonathan Dean Photography
Plaza in front of aquatic center with people coming and going
© Page

By the numbers



Making a difference in the community

“The aquatic and fitness center at Long Bridge Park is the culmination of years of effort to transform this unique, yet highly contaminated brownfield site into a symbol of the county’s commitment to the health and wellness of residents of Arlington County.”

Robert V. Perry AIA

Page Principal

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