Charles River Associates Washington, D.C. Office Building, Massachusetts Interior Architecture
Charles River Associates Washington, D.C. Office
New Architecture in District of Columbia design by Elkus Manfredi Architects, United States of America
January 27, 2020
Charles River Associates Offices, Washington, D.C.
Design: Elkus Manfredi Architects
Charles River Associates Washington, D.C. Offices
Location: Washington, D.C., USA
28,000 square feet on two internally connected floors
Team Rooms: (3) 5-person
Open Team Rooms: (2) 4-person
Conference Rooms: (1) 16-person
Copy/ Print: 1
Coffee Area: 1
Team Rooms: (4) 5-person, (1), 4-person, (1) 3-person,
Open Team Area: (1) 4-person
Conference Rooms: (1) 12-person, (1) 6-person
Boardrooms: (1) 32-person
One on One Rooms: 2
Hospitality Bar: 1
Rest and Restore: 1
Mail/ Copy: 1
Ping Pong Space: 1
Office Services: 1
IT Lab, Storage and Server: 1
The Washington, D.C., design adapted the standards and space metrics that Elkus Manfredi had established through the firm wide workplace consulting process prior to designing the Boston office. Designers sought to create a space that reflects the unique culture and setting of Washington, D.C., while integrating the team’s work style/lifestyle into the flow and the amenities of the spaces. Refreshing the overall look, feel, and lighting was crucial, especially where access to daylight was absent or limited.
There were many similar goals between the design of CRA’s Washington and Boston offices, including co-location of junior and senior staff members to maximize knowledge-sharing; a wide variety of collaborative team spaces; acoustical privacy in individual and group work areas; neighborhoods of workstations for a sense of community; and a generous, inviting café space with a multitude of seating options that support spontaneous interaction, relaxation, and brain-storming.
Designers confronted challenges particular to this Washington, D.C., location, including:
Imparting a sense of serenity, calm, and well-being
Re-imagining the internal stair that connects the 7th and 8th floor to become a central feature of the workplace
Creating a “view” where there was none, as parts of the existing space lacked access to windows and vistas
Avoiding putting spaces occupied by personnel in areas with no windows
Implementing design solutions over a phased construction schedule
Starting in the elevator lobby, designers created a new reception location by removing the core between two elevators and allowing abundant light to flow through the space.
The use of refined, upscale details, colors, and materials fosters a soothing environment. Inspired by the blue of the Chesapeake Bay and the outdoor lifestyle of the Washington staff, the palette of clean whites and blues combined with reflective finishes make the most of natural daylight and create a sense of modern refinement.
Designers positioned the internal stair as a dramatic feature of the space by adding deep blue glass and a metal light fixture that reflects light and shadow throughout the day and is as much a piece of artwork as it is a functional element of the space.
A multitude of diverse and inviting spaces were created where employees can relax, brainstorm, share knowledge, and engage in spontaneous conversation, including a seascape mural in the café that provides a calming seascape view with a go-to getaway place, a dock in the Chesapeake Bay.
The design takes full advantage of daylight in places where employees spend the most time and located non-occupied support spaces in the areas without windows.
Designers celebrated the competitive outdoor sports culture of the CRA D.C. staff with a dual-function meeting space/ping-pong area in the library.
Charles River Associates Washington, D.C. – Building Information
Interior Architecture: Elkus Manfredi Architects
MEP/FP Engineer: RDK Engineers
Lighting Design: Lam Partners, Inc.
Acoustic Engineer: Cavanaugh Tocci Associates
Structural Engineer: LeMessurler
Hardware Consultant: Campbell-McCabe
Contractor: RAND Construction
Construction Administrator: Elkus Manfredi Architects
Photographs © Jasper Sanidad
Charles River Associates Washington, D.C. Building images / information from Elkus Manfredi Architects
Phone: +1 202-662-3800
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