SOM Washington, D.C., Office

SOM Washington, D.C. Office
SOM Washington, D.C. Office
  • Expertise Interiors, Workplace
  • Region North America
  • Location Washington , District of Columbia , United States

Designed with healthy materials, our office provides a flexible, forward-looking workplace where our staff can customize their workday.

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2022
  • Size Site Area: 9,500.00
  • Collaborators
    Gilbane Interface Engineering Cerami Technology in Architecture Design (TAD) Branston Partnership Innovant Inside Source, Carl Hansen Lutron & One Source Turf Design
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2022
  • Size Site Area: 9,500.00
  • Collaborators
    Gilbane Interface Engineering Cerami Technology in Architecture Design (TAD) Branston Partnership Innovant Inside Source, Carl Hansen Lutron & One Source Turf Design

Designing a forward-looking workplace

For decades, we have designed cutting-edge workplaces with the conviction that architecture has the power to shape an organization’s culture. Our Washington, D.C., office—located at 1700 K Street in the city’s downtown business district—packs a variety of programming into 9,500 square feet to help foster collaboration, equity, and a sense of community. Joining a growing list of recently redesigned SOM offices, the D.C. office represents a 21st-century vision for the future of workplace design. 

Dave Burk © SOM

Flexible, multipurpose spaces

The office is a bright and airy space, built with healthy materials, and offers staff the ability to customize their workday. Organized along two main axes—an entryway and gallery intersecting an open studio—the workplace incorporates quiet focus rooms, collaboration zones, conference rooms, a cafe, and an informal “social hub.” There is a series of five private rooms—the focus rooms, for phone calls and solitary work—along with three conference rooms facing the inner, daylit court of the building. The collaboration zones, a group of two open tables equipped with digital technology, are tucked into the open studio, which serves as the main working area. Collectively, these multipurpose amenities and meeting spaces give staff the choice to work beyond the desk. With environments suited to a range of activities, from group meetings to quiet work, the design creates an open and mobile experience.

Dave Burk © SOM
Dave Burk © SOM

Utilizing healthy materials

“Radical reduction” defines our design approach, carried from the creation of our New York office—a holistic philosophy centered on using resources responsibly. The design coalesces openness, mobility, sustainability, and wellness into a refined and tranquil experience. All enclosed spaces are finished with warm, low-carbon materials, such as cork and wood, and all the open areas present a soft gray palette to create a quiet backdrop for the studio activity. The design preserves the building’s existing concrete slabs, eliminating the need for additional finish. The ceiling is composed of sheets of acoustic felt made from recycled plastic bottles. 

Dave Burk © SOM

While the interiors receive ample natural light, we implemented ceiling lights and motorized window shades to respond to changing weather patterns and the time of day—maintaining an even level of illumination, minimizing glare, and reducing energy use (in support of a LEED Gold target). More than 90 plants throughout the office create a connection to nature. 

Each of these design features combine to create the type of workplace that can bring out the best in everyone. The new space showcases our radical reduction philosophy and demonstrates what a forward-thinking workplace can be. 

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