A new mixed-use community in Driggs, Idaho, 300 Main uses a New Urbanism approach to combine retail, office, food service and residential properties on a 13-acre downtown building site with a large central courtyard for community events, informal markets and cultural performances. Designed as a smart-growth development, the project incorporates many environmental and progressive design features, including wetlands preservation, bike and pedestrian paths, 25 percent-landscaped rooftops with storm water run-off recycling, low-maintenance building materials, and anticipated LEED certification. The 400,000-square-foot project will include 199 residential units that comprise 48 percent of the overall project and range from 500 to 2,200 square feet.
By bringing together multiple functions and varied users to the new urban center, architects help create an intended dynamic tension. A descendant of the time-tested European piazza concept, where pedestrians and cars share the same circulation area, 300 Main’s pedestrian-specific pathways are demarcated with brick pavers that inconspicuously weave into the irregular vehicular traffic grid. Fifty percent of parking is cleverly tucked underneath the sloping site, creating additional space for open-air activity between ground-floor restaurants and retail spaces. A raised triangular amphitheater space—which doubles as an interactive water feature—serves as the urban node.
The 18 buildings comprising the mixed-use development are visually varied in materials, form, and scale. From glass expanses exposing structural elements to inverted butterfly roofs forcing the eye upward to hanging awnings creating intimacy at street level—the varied design motifs combine in a campus that lives larger than its acreage with distinct sections mimicking the appearance of a time-evolved city center. An extension of Driggs’ existing urban fabric, 300 Main’s contextual design builds on carefully surveyed community needs and interests.