American management and information technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton has partnered with OTJ Architects to recast the organization’s real estate portfolio as an inter-disciplinary ecosystem that maximizes density and flexibility while advancing mission-critical recruitment and retention objectives. Starting in 2013, in keeping with the cultural and technological acceleration of the capital, the firm undertook the development of an Innovation Blueprint: a holistic effort to mature its practice, build disruptive technologies, and pursue original value in support of its clients’ most pressing challenges.
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The Helix, Booz Allen Center for Innovation, represents the culmination of a decade-long design and business partnership. The Helix reconceives the original Booz Allen Innovation Center, completed in 2016 by OTJ, to deliver a digital, immersive experience dedicated to helping clients understand how transformative technologies can help solve critical challenges across global defense, national security, and climate resilience.
The design team seized on this opportunity to demystify emerging innovations such as AI, 5G, quantum edge, and more through the deployment of simulations, product and capability demonstrations, hands-on activations, and immersive environments. The Helix features a Storytelling Rotunda: A 220-degree, floor-to-ceiling experience that plunges visitors headfirst into augmented, virtual, and extended reality experiences and showcases more than 250 distinct stories. In addition, an AI Adoption Studio, designed in conjunction with Hyperquake Studios and complete with multiple interactive interfaces as well as a state-of-the-art screen, features a custom, swooping communal desk that allows for hands-on demonstrations of client-ready solutions.
The Helix is also an aesthetically arresting showcase that weaves together a minimalist material palette of polished concrete, wood, and metal accents. The design is further accented by custom, multi-hued, serpentine light fixtures interspersed at key moments throughout the space. Wood panels inspired by the organic forms and parametric structures of nature are juxtaposed against the technical and industrial elements of the Helix to symbolize the relationship between people, technology, and the natural world from which we can learn to solve the problems of tomorrow. By pulling back the curtain, The Helix demystifies emerging technologies and promises to advance Booz Allen Hamilton’s growth strategy.
NAIOP MD | DC Award of Merit, Best Interiors
The Helix is a next generation innovation hub that draws on a decades-long design and business partnership to explore the art of the possible by demystifying technology.