1100 First Street, Wasington DC
Tishman Speyer Properties
Architect of Record: Gensler
With building heights limited to a uniform 130’ throughout the city and allowable floor area to be maximized, the urban design opportunity for 1100 and 1150 First Street is realized in the most advantageous placement of the limited and precious open site area.
The project consists of two distinct buildings placed perpendicularly to First Street, and parallel to each other. This allows both buildings equal frontage on the primary, address side of the site while forming a common plaza courtyard between the opposing long sides.
The two buildings are subtly shaped to create a dynamic plaza and courtyard that allow natural light deep onto the site and into the buildings. Additionally, the proportions of the First Street Facades are improved as their verticality is emphasized. Rather than following the Washington, D.C. office building paradigm of absorbing open site area in an enclosed atrium, 1100 & 1150 First Street acknowledge and improve the immediate neighborhood by creating public space on private property.
Environmentally sustainable design principles are followed throughout, with LEED Gold certification as the projected benchmark.
The concrete structural frame, consisting of a typical 30’ by 30’ bay, is manipulated along the perimeter to allow for the building shape. On the courtyard side, perimeter columns lean in, out, or kink once as they rise.
The precisely folded facades open up to the sky to maximize daylight, and offer an intriguing play of unexpected views and reflections. Visually, once building #2 is completed, the project will have a sense of movement, like two icebergs sliding past, one shaping the other.
The strength of the architectural concept is proven in its ability to guide all aspects of aesthetic and technical development and decision making during all phases of design: selection of materials and systems, articulation of building elements, and the resolution of details at every scale are guided by the overriding concepts of dynamic design, precision, and innovation.
The all glass east and courtyard facades of 1100 & 1150 First Street are made of insulated glazing units with 5/16” thick outer glass. This additional 1/16” thickness over the typically used ¼” glass results in extraordinary flatness, which conveys the precision of a machined aesthetic. Additionally, the sound isolation from the exterior is improved significantly. The selection of Viracon VRE 1-46 for the glass low-emissivity coating was driven by a balancing of glass color, reflectivity and transparency, and thermal performance. The ever changing appearance of the selected glass which oscillates between transparent and reflective enhances the character the dynamically shaped buildings.
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Architects: Krueck & Sexton Architects
Location: Washington, D.C., USA
Client: Tishman Speyer
MEP Engineer: Flack + Kurtz
Structural Engineer: Tadjer Cohen Edelson Associates, Inc.
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 355,000 sqf
Photographs: Prakash Patel
Krueck + Sexton’s architectural design vision for 1100 First Street re-defines the expectations of the speculative office building in Washington, D.C. Organized as two distinct 350,000 sqf blocks on a 1.7 acre site, the forms of this glass-clad building pair are subtly manipulated to emphasize verticality and activate a dynamic courtyard at the center of the complex. This space brings natural light deep into the site and identifies the building’s main entry.
In a city known more for stone facades and traditional windows, 1100 First Street is decisively modern in its expression and 21st century in its technology. Glass, the building’s exterior material, is used in two different but related ways: cleanly detailed and folded at the courtyard in a manner that lightens each volume and clearly identifies the main facade, and more deferential and modular at the adjacent streets. The architectural language that results from the precise articulation of surfaces and edges is timeless and enduring.
A high-performance facade, which uses glass in varying directions for careful infiltration and controlled reflection, provides for an open & light-filled building offering daylight and views to over 75% of its occupied areas. Throughout the building’s office spaces, natural light penetrates deep into the plate from the floor to ceiling exterior glazing. All of the glazing units are insulated with a low-e coating, providing superior energy performance.
At the ground floor the lobby is revealed, opening up the building to the scale of the street. Detailed with care and sophistication, the lobby design draws upon the language of the exterior to create a distinctive identity. The first completed building of the pair is certified LEED Gold, achieved through site strategies, water savings and energy efficiency.