The U.S. DOT Volpe Center and SOM’s Washington, D.C., Office Win AIA | DC Design Awards

Aerial view of U.S. DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

Two SOM projects have received design awards from the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC). The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a new vertical campus for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s research division, won an Award in Architecture, while SOM’s Washington, D.C. Office earned a Citation in Interior Architecture.

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center works to advance transportation innovation for the public good. Its new headquarters brings the entire center under one roof for the first time, while putting its work on display for garage doors that open onto the streetscape. Recognizing a distinctive, high-performance facade defined by solar-shading fins, the jury described the building as “elegant and timeless,” as well as the dense programming packed into the building—from laboratories, data centers, and offices to workplace amenities that include multiple terraces, a cafeteria, a fitness center, and a childcare center with an enclosed outdoor playground.

SOM’s Washington, D.C. office, a 9,500-square-foot space in the city’s downtown business district, won a citation specifically for its “design for resources,” a tenet of AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence that emphasizes the importance of durability, safety, health, and sustainability when selecting materials. With natural finishes, smart technology, biophilia, and settings for both group activity and quiet work, the design represents the type of studio that can bring out the best in everyone—a showcase for best practices in 21st Century workplace design.

SOM Washington, D.C., Office