Quite the Transformation at 17th and Rhode Island Ave, NW

photos courtesy Golden Triangle BID

From a press release:

“Akridge and Mitsui Fudosan America announced today the grand opening of 1200 Seventeenth Street NW, a 170,000 square foot, commercial office building, two blocks from the Farragut North Red Line Metro station in the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District. The trophy class building is designed to achieve the highest level of environmental sustainability, LEED Platinum.

Ideally located near three Metro lines, the building offers glass on all four sides, expansive ceiling heights, efficient floor plates, a full service 2,500 square foot fitness center, and a best-in-class Client-only rooftop event space framed by a landscaped green roof. 1200 Seventeenth has immediate access to myriad retail, dining, and hospitality amenities on Connecticut Avenue, just steps away. 1200 Seventeenth Street NW features floor-to-ceiling glass and column-free efficient interiors. The building accommodates 9’0” ceiling heights throughout the space and has views of St. Matthews Cathedral to the west, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to the east, and the Washington Monument to the south.

Akridge and Mitsui Fudosan America developed 1200 Seventeenth with an ambitious vision to deploy forward-thinking, efficient design and sustainable features. The building design integrates water-saving fixtures that create a 40% reduction in water use, low-emitting materials and ample ventilation to increase air quality, and abundant daylight and views to enhance the quality of life and overall work environment for its occupants. Additionally, the building’s construction used 20% recycled content and recycled over 75% of the construction waste generated, and the building will generate 35% of its power from green power sources. The building features a state-of-the-art, dedicated outside air system (DOAS) with VAV controls, averaging 33% more efficiency than a conventional VAV system.”

1200 17th St, NW in 2012

29 Comment

  • Wow that’s a HUGE improvement.

  • I’ve been watching this thing rise up from the ground day by day. I’m usually so disappointed by new construction, but this is a really nice looking building, especially compared to what was there previously. Pretty neat that they are aiming for Platinum certification, too.

  • maxwell smart

    sure – the existing building had very little pedestrian street presence and the facade was a little bland, but behind that facade were beautiful waffle slabs that could have been preserved with a new exterior skin. Instead DC gets another bland, glass office building with, IMO, really ugly terra cotta accents.

    • Are you on drugs? The old building was crumbling and was ugly as all sin. This new building is gorgeous – if you’ve actually seen it, you’d know that it’s not just a bland glass cube but has amazing woodwork in its soaring lobby which is easily visible from the street, giving it an almost retro charm. Try checking it out before you complain about it.

  • They traded the bland and generic from one era for the bland and generic of another. No real improvement and when this one gets torn down in 40-50 years someone will say “what an improvement” even though the new building will be just as uninteresting.

  • My only problem is the absence of ground-level retail, particularly because the presence of the Pillsbury law firm makes me hungry for crescent rolls.

  • This is the new offices for Pillsbury (law firm), right?

    Livens that entire intersection up in a way the previous building did not.

  • i worked in this building when it was the US institute of peace and yeah, it was pretty ugly. this is better in some ways, certainly the environmental sustainability. we need some engaging architecture like usip’s NEW place! a giant dove on 17th st!

  • As much as I tend to despise the glass/steel buildings popping up all around the city, I REALLY like this one. At least it has some color other than grey or tan. I’m a big fan!

  • It’s BEAUTIFUL. And, what you can’t see in the picture is the way the reddish color complements the church across the street directly to the east. Extremely well done by this architect and builder.

  • I think the previous iteration was perfectly fine for some office building, and it seems that the new building will be perfectly fine as well. I did notice that they must’ve got quite a boost in terms of usable floor space with the redesign – guessing this was the real impetus for change.

  • “two blocks from the Farragut North Red Line Metro station.” I agree it is very close to the metro. But, the shortest walk I see is 3 blocks (down Rhode Island to Connecticut. Then pass Connecticut and Desales. Then, go to the North entrance of Farragut North at Connecticut and L. Why wouldn’t they just be truthful and say 3 blocks to the metro?

    • maxwell smart

      17th to L, L to Conn. 2 blocks.

      • So in taking 17th to L, you start at 17th and Rhode Island, cross over M St, cross over Desales, then get to L. I count 4 blocks using that route, no?

        • the corner of this building (shown in the photo) and where the main lobby doors are located is literally at the corner of 17th and M street. I guess you could count Desales as a street but since it dead end’s into 17th at Nat Geo, I don’t count it.

  • Anybody know the deal with the holdout just to the west of this? Looks like a fighter of a rowhouse.

  • I believe this was brought up when construction was being started, but as the previous building’s architecture and layout wasn’t deficient, it’s veering close to disingenuous to say this is an environmentally conscious building, let alone a LEED Platinum candidate. Even the most advanced energy savings can’t displace the environmental cost of tearing down a building versus renovating the existing structure to be more efficient.

  • “the building will generate 35% of its power from green power sources” – I call BS on this one. They’re not generating 35% of their energy onsite using green power sources. I’m sure they have signed an agreement with a utility provider to purchase that amount of clean energy.
    I’m not going to say the previous building was better looking than this new one, but I certainly could design the previous building to be more efficient than this new one. All that glass does not make a building efficient. It does the exact opposite of that. There’s a fine line between saving energy through increased day lighting and losing energy due to a decrease in thermal insulation. This building is way beyond that line and is using more energy to condition the space due to heat transfer through the windows than it is making up through daylighting.
    I’d also like to know where the 40% reduction in water usage comes from. Most often that is achieved by using low flow fixtures, which can be a maintenance issue, or result in people just flushing the toilets more than once. You’re better off using standard flow fixtures and flushing them with harvested rainwater. Maybe they did this. Who knows.
    Knocking down an existing buildings to build a new one and then calling it sustainable is a bit odd. I’m sure the new building is sustainable in many ways, but if sustainability was the end goal, they would’ve been better off upgrading the existing building utilities. My guess is that this was done because the owner’s team can do math, and the math shows that in the end this will make more money due to the higher rents, etc…

  • clevelanddave

    “Trophy Class” building. 3rd place trophy?

  • The old building was not the worst offender in the area (some truly hideous examples down the street at 18th & Conn) but FOR A DC OFFICE BUILDING this is fantastic! A little color goes a long way.

    • maxwell smart

      I agree a little color goes a long way, but something about these terra cotta panels, esp. when you see them in person, just don’t sit right – the tone and tune is the wrong – they are warm and the glass is a cool blue/gray tone that just don’t work together. Also they look plastic up close – it makes the building look cheap. Honestly on this building, I would have preferred them to black.

  • I walk by this every morning on the opposite side of 17th. Has anyone else noticed the insane reflective heat coming off of it? I can literally feel my face burning. Not sure I’ve found other buildings with similar reflective windows that are quite as intense.

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