American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC
The property consists of three, connected, circa 1890 townhouses with an attached eight-story office building, equaling approximately 70,000 square feet. The townhouses have received an historic designation from the District of Columbia. The design objective was to seamlessly connect the historic townhouses and the 1970s-style office building. This goal encompassed both the physical integration of the spaces, as well as the thematic connection of the disparate elements to create one unified structure and environment. The design theory is to architecturally “bridge” the old and the new -- symbolizing the integration of the historic, sustainable infrastructure with the organization’s progressive, high-tech image of today. This connection is primarily achieved through the renovation of the two-story atrium. To meet the client’s objective a curved-ceiling glass atrium was created. The glass tower allows natural light to permeate the atrium, and creates a radiant, energetic atmosphere. Also, closed offices are positioned along the exterior windows, designed with etched-glass sidelights to maximize natural light.