Celebrating a Legacy
In October 1915, at the dawn of the automobile era, Lewis Reed opened his Dodge dealership on Rockville Pike – less than one year after the first Dodge automobile, dubbed “Old Betsy”, rolled off the assembly line. Since then, the business that Lewis Reed founded, grew and transformed from a small-scale garage and dealership into one of the largest and most recognized commercial enterprises on Rockville Pike. It is a family business history that parallels the evolution of the American automobile industry itself. Now, Bainbridge Shady Grove Metro pays homage to this history by celebrating the golden age of the automobile with commemorative art on the former site of the iconic Reed Brothers Dodge dealership.
CEO and Principal Sabine Roy of SR/A Interior Architecture and Design of Bethesda was commissioned by The Bainbridge Companies to design the interior of the new development. Their reputation for blending in elements of history is unparalleled, and it does not take long to see and feel the passion they put into the project with their consideration for the location and history of the site.
The SR/A team began designing the interior around the site history, and Josh Wooldridge, Senior Development Director of The Bainbridge Companies followed suit by involving all aspects of the building. Automobile-related terms were given to public spaces: ACCELERATE fitness center, REV fitness space and gym, FLUID swimming pool, PARK in-building garage parking, THE TRUNK storage spaces, and WHEEL WELL bike storage. Floor plans were named after Dodge automobiles: Durango, Dart, Dakota, Phoenix, Avenger, Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Journey, Intrepid and Viper.
SR/A Interior Design incorporated historical elements into the interior of the building which carries out a common theme of dealership history and automobiles, with components such as large paintings, historical photographs, artifacts, graphics, distinctive automobile-themed accessories and other architectural materials to pay homage to the site’s history. The automobile theme permeates the new building, incorporating vintage photographs taken by founder, Lewis Reed, along with memorabilia, including 3-dimensional objects (steering wheels, hubcaps, headlamps, etc.) attached to a wall montage in the leasing office. SR/A’s use of historically referenced materials and detailing grants the entire project its unique character, strengthening the community’s ties with the past.
Artist, Thomas Aitken from Holland, Michigan was commissioned by The Bainbridge Companies to design a sculpture for the exterior of the new residential complex. A large concrete sculpture was chosen titled “Light Dodger” which melds the design of two classic lamp and fender designs (1939 Dodge Car and 1957 Dodge Pickup) from the Dodge line into one three dimensional work of art. The monumental sculpture stands 20+ feet high and has stained glass lens components over 6 feet in diameter. The sculpture sits prominently at the main entrance to the development and can be seen by thousands of daily commuters taking the Red Line from the Shady Grove Metro Station to Bethesda, Maryland and Washington, DC.
Along with the sculpture, a set of Hemi Piston street lamps grace the curving walkway towards the metro station.. These functional lamps are based on the famous Dodge Hemi piston engines.