300 New Jersey Avenue
300 New Jersey Avenue was commissioned in September 2004 by The JBG Companies, to create a new office complex for a leading international legal practice. The pentagonal site is one block away from the Capitol. Before work on the new building started, the site was occupied by an office building dating from 1935 – and a 1953 addition – and an above-ground car park. As part of the redevelopment of the site, the car park has been demolished and replaced with an underground six-storey parking facility for approximately 450 vehicles. Above this sits a new 10-storey (110-feet high) office building which is linked to the two existing office buildings by a 12,000 ft² glazed atrium. The new development creates around 275,000 ft² gross, adding to the existing 205,000 ft² in the two older, 6-7 storey buildings. The international law firm Jones Day occupies the 1935 building, the 1953 addition and 5 storeys of the new building.
The atrium creates a focal point for - and meeting space between - the three office buildings. It allows staff to circulate between the existing and new buildings, whilst also providing a series of open, trapezoidal platforms where employees can sit and interact outside the office environment beneath a huge, floating glass roof. At different levels, 16 glass bridges connect each building with the open platforms. A dramatic yellow ‘tree’ structure supports the atrium roof as well as the platforms. All platforms in the atrium are accessible by a glass elevator.
Visitors pass through the ground floor of the atrium where there is a staff cafe and dining room as well as a reception area. A large meeting room on level seven of the 1953 building is reached directly from the glass elevator by its own bridge within the tree structure. A roof garden is accessible via the meeting room with spectacular views across Washington.
This project evolved from an advisory role that RSHP undertook with town planners in Washington DC for the Anacostia waterfront redevelopment. An initial meeting took place with RSHP to explore an approach to the redevelopment of the site. This led to the establishment of a strong collaborative working relationship between the two firms resulting in a powerful design solution which breaks the mould of conventional office design in Washington DC.
This project aims to create a focus and heart for the existing office community, allowing it to grow whilst also enabling stronger physical bonds to be established between the site's disparate elements. The scheme has turned a neglected backyard into a dramatic Washington DC address which, importantly, creates strong links to the public realm immediately outside and as well as creating a new public space for the city.
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