1801 K Street

1801 K Street NW is a multi-tenant office building located in Washington, D.C.'s commercial business district. SOM transformed and repositioned the 600,000-square-foot property, originally built in 1970, to meet the highest standard for commercial office space. The project team refreshed the building with contemporary and sustainable design concepts—reconfiguring and refinishing the lobby, recladding the facade with a state-of-the-art glass envelope, and using an innovative phasing plan to minimize disruption to existing tenants.

The design strategy for the facade replacement maintained the existing curtain wall. New curtain wall attachments penetrated the existing wall at points where they could be anchored to the building's structural slabs. The exterior of the building was then reclad with an all-glass envelope to provide expansive, full-height views. As tenant leases expired, the original curtain wall assembly was dismantled and removed. The construction and phasing plan was particularly complex, as the building underwent renovations while 75 percent occupied. SOM’s design and custom installation method set a precedent in the Washington metropolitan region for exterior glass facades in commercial buildings.

SOM's lobby modernization brings new vitality to the building and creates a welcoming space for tenants and visitors. Two new entrances create a continuous lobby that connects K and L Streets. New elevator lobbies and finishes, such as book-matched Calacatta marble, further enhance the space. SOM collaborated with artist Leo Villareal to create a 200-foot-long art installation that diffuses red, green, and blue LED lights into an ever-changing current of more than 16 million colors.