815 Connecticut Ave NW

Five features and amenities we love at this repositioned Washington, D.C. property


The lobby at 815 Connecticut Ave NW

1. FIRST FLOOR LOBBY. We took a one story lobby and created more dramatic height. We opened it up on two sides to connect elevator access to busy I Street as well as a valet entrance. We covered the entry to the valet entrance outside for bad weather conditions.


The rooftop terrace features unparalleled views of Washington, D.C.

2. ROOFTOP TERRACE. Outdoor roof deck space is becoming standard in the high-end office market in D.C. Hospitality space is needed for functions, events and staff use. We configured the space for a law firm, which wanted a hospitality space for its staff to enjoy and to entertain clients. It was no picnic to add this deck; it required surgery. We had to reconfigure the egress stairs, raise the elevator and ensure mechanical access (a stair up the penthouse level) to the top elevator equipment. Carbon fiber reinforcement of the slab and steel reinforcement of the terrace were required to make the new rooftop a reality, but the outdoor access and the panoramic view is more than worth it.

3. FITNESS CENTER. The fitness center is a new standard amenity in the D.C. office market where work/life balance is a priority. We created a dynamic place with high-end finishing details and located it on the parking level.


4. VIEWS. To put simply, there aren’t many views in D.C. like the ones from 815. The all-glass façade provides stunning views of downtown D.C., the Potomac River and the National Mall. The upper floors of the building have magnificent views of the White House front lawn.


5. SUSTAINABILITY. 815 Connecticut Ave. NW received LEED Platinum certification from the USGBC. Sustainable features save the building approximately $350,000 annually in utility expenses. The central power system was updated with new, efficient cooling towers and management system, resulting in an energy savings of 65 percent. 75 percent of the wood used in the project is FSC-certified. 16 percent of construction materials contain post-consumer recycled materials. 70 percent of energy used is offset by Green e-certified, off-site renewable energy sources. 75 percent of waste was diverted from landfills and incinerators during the construction process. 815 features low-flow toilets, urinals and faucets. A solar farm of photovoltaic panels on the building façade collects 6,000 kWh annually. Most notably, 90 percent of the original building was reused. We also helped enact long-term efforts such as a landscape management program and tenant education to encourage sustainable practices.

Size: 236,000 square feet

Team: John Jessen, Todd Combs, Richard Wolf, Richard Brown, Tony Wong, Michele Vernon, Lia Phipps and Stephanie Tyrpak

Photography by Ron Blunt

Download the complete Design Quarterly Fall 2014.

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