This project rejuvenates and links two adjacent 1970s Brutalist structures into one freestanding, trophy-class office building in downtown Washington, D.C. The design introduces contemporary elements while paying respect to the historic 16th Street corridor.
Materiality: Blocks of Indiana limestone with simple vertical articulation set the tone, providing symmetry and cadence to the fenestration. The stone creates depth while the faceted, glazed curtainwall with stainless-steel cable detailing reflects daylight in unexpected ways.
Ground plane connectivity: The existing topographic conditions and differences in the ground floor elevations of the two buildings created an opportunity for an imaginative public space solution. The team conceived the front plaza as a public park. A landscaped berm and stainless-steel sculptural wall incorporate accessible ramps and stairs into the design.
Dynamic entry sequence: A three-dimensional, floor-to-ceiling sculptural wall greets people entering the lobby. The solid basswood feature wall was fabricated using Computer Numerical Control technology optimized for efficient material use and installation. A monumental stair floats within a new two-story atrium, balancing the fluid, dynamic sculptural wall while seamlessly connecting the previously disconnected building lobbies. This connective tissue is mirrored in the front plaza, where a perforated aluminum design feature carves through the landscape and links the main and secondary building entrances.
Penthouse views: A new level of tenant space replaces two mechanical penthouses on top of the existing building. Set back from the main facade, this penthouse level creates public and private rooftop terraces with views of the White House.