Rendering of 1200 17th St, NW by ZGF Architects

Rendering via ZGF Architects LLP

From a press release:

“ZGF Architects LLP, a nationally recognized architecture, planning and interior design firm, has been selected to design a new Class A office building at 1200 Seventeenth Street NW. Akridge, a comprehensive DC-based commercial real estate firm, and First Potomac Realty Trust, a leading owner of office and industrial properties in the greater Washington region, selected ZGF as part of a design competition among five firms.

The current 85,000 SF building, located on the corner of Rhode Island Avenue NW in downtown Washington, was built in 1964 and houses the National Restaurant Association. The building sold in 2011 to a partnership of Akridge and First Potomac Realty Trust. It will be demolished next year to make room for a larger, more sustainable development.

“ZGF brings outstanding credentials in design, and particularly in green building, to this project,” said Akridge President Matthew J. Klein. “Their knowledge and talents will be key to making 1200 Seventeenth the trophy we’ve envisioned.”

The new 170,000 SF speculative office building has 11 floors of office space, street-level retail, and amenities such as a roof deck and a fitness center. The design anticipates a LEED Platinum certification. Underground parking will be designed to hold 115 vehicles. The site is within the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District.”

1200 17th St, NW – October, 2011

16 Comment

  • Hardly seems LEED Platinum to replace one hideous glass/concrete/steel building with another one that looks almost identical.

  • From the architectural rendering it looks like they’ll also pave 17th street with hardwood floors.

  • You can’t really say much for the design. All downtown office buildings have the same boxy look the same given the height restrictions. What materials does one use to construct office buildings besides “glass/concrete/steel”?

    Anyway, getting double the square footage on the site is the right move.

  • Not environmentally conscious at all to tear something down only to rebuild it. Why couldn’t they do a major rehab without tossing out all that cast concrete?

    In any event the new building sure LOOKS nicer, and if it has street-level retail, all the better!

    • a roof top restaurant would be nice….

    • Agreed. The greenest construction is saving what you have. If that’s not possible, then you simply look silly trying to BS an explanation of this.

      Here’s hoping for some serious activation of the ground floor with retail, instead of a silly large lobby pitched as a “neighborhood amenity.”

  • No improvement on the old one, which for many years was the HQ of the American Psychological Association (they pioneered office development N of Union Station when they relocated there).

  • The design just… Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • I prefer the old design to the new one and I don’t even like the old one.

    However I’m glad to see we’ve moved beyond the all beige rectangle all the time period to the all beige square and rectangle, but mostly still all rectangle period. Real accomplishment.

    Also glad to see that a LEED building will generate 85,000 Sq feet of waste… GTFO.

  • I prefer the old one since it’s unsustainable, which means if we keep it maybe it will just fall down and go away. Replacing it with some new sustainable cr*p means we’re garanteed a big cr*ppy building on that site forEVER.

  • I think the design is a clean & rational facade. This sounds like a developer-driven building, where it can be very difficult to get much more than a blank box; I applaud ZGF for fitting into the neighborhood while still getting several design touches incorporated. Also, to those arguing over the sustainability of demolishing & rebuilding vs. renovating: keep in mind that without knowing the details of the existing building, (from an era with notoriously poor environmental building impact, as well as what is most likely a very energy inefficient system,) or what will be done with the demolished materials, (frequently these will be recycled,) it is hard to make a judgment either way. I welcome this design.

Comments are closed.