Washington Multi-Family Conversion
OTJ Architects has been engaged by a leading property management company to reconceive of an underperforming eight-story office building as a vibrant mixed-use destination complete with retail, extended stay, and multi-family components. This proposed repositioning promises to serve as a sensitive case study on the viability of asset conversions to residential use in the face of decreased office occupancy rates across many of the nation’s most competitive real estate markets.
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Informed by best practices in contemporary multi-family development, the design carves out two sculptural light wells to create an H-shaped floorplan that maximizes light penetration into deep floor plates initially intended for office purposes. The building’s proposed reuse allocates one side of the property to apartments while the other is dedicated to extended-stay hotel units. Each side is complete with its own dedicated lobby and the building, in its entirety, is articulated according to these two distinct residential purposes.
The façade of the apartment section is a playful juxtaposition of bold primary color accents and biophilic elements that imbue the property with new-found architectural relevance in a city often derided for overly conservative design. The glass-fronted hotel, in turn, is a faceted gem-like volume that, counterpoised against the apartment portion of the structure, lends the impression of a distinct tower rising from a shared podium. The addition of two stories allows for the staggering of resort-like indoor/outdoor amenities that will capitalize on panoramic views of the capital as well as a myriad of work-from-home spaces that respond to the requirements of a post-Covid rental market.
Further, in keeping with New Urbanist concepts, the property is activated at street level by a new retail presence and a two-story food hall recessed into the face of the building. Lastly, apartments, complete with private balconies, window-line adjacent kitchen and living spaces, as well as oversized operable glass doors, are designed to support the active lifestyles of professional target residents.