New America meets Old America. This was the theme for the public policy institute’s new historic restoration space located in the Central Business District of Washington, DC. Focusing on creating a better, new America, they wanted to create a space that was filled with big thinkers with big ideas—the next generation. To do this, they wanted an amenity space that would set themselves apart from other think tanks in DC and attract the best talent.
FOX’s objective was to celebrate the history of the circa 1906 building, while incorporating modern elements to the space. The design team worked with the Contractor to reveal the building’s historic ceiling and columns while restoring the floor throughout public spaces. By blending these historic features with glass office fronts and bright colors, the team created a space of modern and rustic finishes.
Designing a more open workspace centralized around an interconnecting staircase spanning four floors sparked excitement for collaboration. The new space allowed more transparent connections from one side of the building to the other. Offices were lined along the window line incorporating glass doors for natural light and allowing the interior space to feel more open. The fellow offices were dispersed throughout, appealing to their need for heads down work while promoting more interactive and collaborative huddle rooms throughout. Inspired by the commuter train from DC to New America’s other offices in New York, quiet cars were uniquely incorporated on each floor as a fun space specific to heads down work.
Beyond the aesthetics, the space enables greater productivity by separating the conference, reception and café from the dedicated work areas. This allows for Members of Congress, visitors and their own membership to enjoy New America without interrupting day-to-day work activity.
Design: FOX Architects
Photography: John Cole
Source: OfficeSnapsShos – New America Offices – Washington DC
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