Sansé and Naja Update 04/11/23

Housing Alexandria Introduces Sansé and Naja: Upcoming Affordable, Mixed-use Development in Arlandria-Chirilagua

Housing Alexandria is proud to share the selected names and brand identities for our affordable, mixed-use development in Arlandria-Chirilagua – Sansé and Naja.

The words "Sansé" and "Naja" come from Nahuat (na-wat), a language indigenous to El Salvador and part of the broader Uto-Aztecan/Uto-Nahuatl family. Sansé (san-say), the name for the larger building, means “unique” or “only one” and invokes a sense of a unified group. Naja (na-jah or na-ha), the name for the smaller building, means “me” or “myself”.

The brand design includes a typeface that blends with the Art Deco features of the buildings' exteriors. The logo expands on this vision with inspiration from the shapes of terracotta blocks, and the bright, colorful elements of Central American textile traditions.

The brand identity was developed by Moya Design Partners in consultation with residents of Arlandria-Chirilagua to create a brand identity that was by and for the residents of the neighborhood. Housing Alexandria expresses our gratitude to the participants in these focus groups, as well as Casa Chirilagua and Tenants and Workers United for giving us the space for these meetings.

“We are very excited about the brand identity created for this community,” said Jonathan Frederick, President and CEO of Housing Alexandria. “Our goal for our work at Mount Vernon Avenue and Glebe Road has been to be in partnership with the residents from the beginning. We know our project here will set a tone for all community development in this small area plan and we want to make sure that it was the residents of Arlandria-Chirilagua who were leading the way.” 

In addition to the name and logo, Housing Alexandria is also sharing Moya’s first interior rendering images for common spaces inside of Sansé and Naja community. In line with the branding theory, the interior design features terracotta and wooden elements and incorporates ample space for greenery and art.

Housing Alexandria anticipates breaking ground on this development in summer 2023, and formal preleasing activity will begin in 2024 or 2025. In the coming months, the Housing Alexandria resident services team will begin working with community members to help ensure all who want to are ready to rent at a committed-affordable development when that time comes.


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