The Avenue

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Washington, DC, USA
1.3 million square feet / 124,000 square meters

The Avenue is a gateway to George Washington University’s Foggy Bottom campus and an urban town center for the surrounding neighborhoods. This mixed-used development includes a ten-story LEED Gold-rated office building and a 12-story apartment building joined by a landscaped courtyard. Shops, restaurants, and a grocery store create a vibrant shopping street near the Metro station.

At the center of the site is a courtyard that links 23rd Street to Pennsylvania Avenue. This inviting public space includes flowering trees, seating, and a water feature that helps collect rainwater for irrigation. The courtyard also includes an inner garden for residents and conceals parking and a full-sized loading dock below grade.

Fronting Pennsylvania Avenue, the office building is expressed as two towers joined by an atrium lobby. Along Washington Circle, the building is radial in form and its mass steps down to meet the scale of surrounding buildings. The building is primarily clad in transparent glass, with limestone spandrels in some areas to acknowledge adjacent masonry buildings. The three-story glass-walled atrium provides a grand, light-filled entrance to the offices and a through-building walkway. Inside, curving travertine walls and cherry wood paneling complete the main lobby and the entrances to the two elevator halls. To balance the daylight in the lobby, the elevator halls have an illuminated ceiling and rear wall.

The 335-unit residential building comprises two wings joined by a granite-clad lobby. By placing the main entrance in a separate volume set back from the street, the design frees the street-facing ground floor for retail and creates direct access to the private inner courtyard. The two wings are also set back from the street, creating a lively pedestrian plaza adjacent to sidewalk dining, shops, and the Metro station. To harmonize with the neighborhood, the apartment building’s exterior is primarily brick with granite cladding along the street level. Glass bays that correspond with main living spaces of the apartments add to the building’s contemporary character.