Overview

Washington DC houses many kinds of offices — from startups to established global companies and government agencies. These office architects know how to address the individual needs of each company and deliver them in creative ways. Many offices are housed in historic buildings, so special attention to preservation and zoning is necessary. The firms on this list have won several awards and created designs for workplaces all over the world. They are involved with every step, from evaluating a current space and finding new real estate to developing a master plan. Concerned with sustainability, these architects look to find the best way to lessen each company’s footprint.

Top Architects

10
WDG Architecture

Architects:
Managing Principals: Bob Keane, Durwood Dixon, Eric Liebmann, Jeff Morris, Rick Hammann, Sean Stadler, Siti Abdul-Rahman
Principals: Buddy Woerner, Hiro Isogai, Howard Weiss, Steven Schwartzman

Awards:
AIA President’s Award,
AIA Young Architects Award

Address:
1025 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

Contact:
202-857-8300

About WDG Architecture

WDG is a multi-service firm that offers architecture, master planning, and interior design. With a staff of over 150 employees, WDJ has created over 500 designs, including 400M square feet of office space. The DC- and Dallas-based firm has worked in all sectors since their founding in 1938. Every level of the firm has LEED-accredited professionals. Steven Schwartzman is a principal in the DC office. Sean Stadler is the managing principal and has earned the American Institute of Architects (AIA) President’s Award and the 2011 AIA Young Architects award. In 2009, he was named one of the “rising stars of the AEC industry” by Building Design + Construction Magazine. Buddy Woerner is another principal in DC.

Featured Projects

WDG’s work on the Tompkins Builder Headquarters created a warm and accessible environment for the company. Wood and stone were used throughout the design to help reflect and diffuse lighting. A sleek lobby gives a sophisticated first impression, while the workspace area is efficient and open. Flexible aluminium-framed partitions with glass and wood doors allow for even more lighting in the central part of the workplace. WDG is also in the midst of designing Midtown Center, a 857,753-square-foot, 14-story office building located in the heart of the Central Business District. Three bridges connect the two wings. The exteriors were constructed for optimal glare mitigation and solar gain, while also allowing for maximum daylight experience. Smaller scale retail space on the ground level allows for connection into the community. A focal point of the neighborhood, Midtown Center is a new landmark in the city.

9
Hickok Cole

Architects:
Michael Hickok
Yolanda Cole

Awards:
NAIOP MD/DC Award of Merit,
IIDA Mid-Atlantic Silver Award for Interior Architecture

Address:
1023 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

Contact:
202-667-9776 |
hello@hickokcole.com

About Hickok Cole

Since its founding, Hickok Cole has designed over 60 million square feet of commercial and residential space. Michael Hicok is the founder of the firm and senior principal. Known for his expertise in commercial space, he has extensive experience working with many local district approval agencies, such as the Historic Preservation Review Board, the Office of Planning, and the Commission of Fine Arts. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Yolanda Cole is the other senior principal and merged her firm with Hickok Cole in 2003. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Ohio State University and her Master of Architecture from Columbia University. The firm uses a combination of innovative software tools, the model shop, and extensive research materials on every project and put an emphasis on collaboration with everyone involved.

Featured Projects

Hickok Cole’s recent worked on Shift + Link, a 500k-square-foot office space in Washington DC. The design has two towers, with shifted floorplates on the wider tower to contrast dramatically with the narrower. The two, differently sized towers allow for maximum flexibility in the workplaces. A sky conference room bridges the towers. Another project is Star and Laundry, a three lot space on 14th Street to the north of Thomas Circle. HC preserved much of the historic framework while adding a modern facade. The main office space is now occupied by Compass, a real estate company. A concurrent construction schedule took the current occupiers’ needs into consideration. The architecture reflects the lively feel of the neighborhood.

8
INTEC Group

Architects:
Keith Switzer
John Cooney

Awards:
Corporate Culture Award

Address:
1800 M Street NW, Washington DC 20036

Contact:
202-776-9070 |
info@intecgroup.net

About INTEC Group

In 1984, INTEC Group was founded — one of the first firms to integrate architecture and interior design. Today, they have offices in Fairfax, Virginia; Washington DC; Charlotte, North Carolina; and, coming soon, Raleigh, North Carolina. Keith Switzer is the president and CEO of the INTEC Group and earned his Bachelor of Science in Housing, Interior Design and Management (HIDM) at Virginia Tech. He is also a founding member of the Washington Executives Association and the Real Estate Executive Services Alliance. INTEC Group recently acquired JCA Architects, led by president and CEO John Cooney. They truly believe that architecture and innovative design can improve the human condition. Not only do they do great work, the company is also a great place to work; SmartCEO honored them with a 2017 Corporate Culture Award.

Featured Projects

INTEC Group designed PhishMe’s fun and open office space. The offices encourage collaboration and community. There is an interactive meeting and gaming area that even includes a full-sized shuffleboard. There’s also a “swag store” where employees can redeem points they have earned on the job. The new space helped the company earn the title of the “Number One Best Place to Work” by the Washington Business Journal. INTEC also earned the $1.43M bid for the ICA Language Services offices in Arlington, Virginia. The 17k-square-foot space has private areas and open gathering areas to reflect the aesthetic of the company. Glass and sliding doors were included to give more light to the classrooms. The two floors of classrooms are joined by an open stairway and public atrium.

7
Wingate Hughes Architects

Architects:
Gavin Wingate Bowie
Gavin Hughes Daniels

Address:
1010 Vermont Avenue, Suite 700, Washington DC 20005

Contact:
202-629-3138 |
info@wingatehughes.com

About Wingate Hughes Architects

Wingate Hughes Architects is dedicated to “shattering the norms” of conventional interior architecture and are known for their out-of-the-box office designs. They’re especially committed to relationship-driven designing, attracting many of the entrepreneurial companies in the DC metro area. Founded in 2010, the firm always incorporates sustainability into each one of their designs. With over 17 years of architecture and interior design experience, Gavin Wingate Bowie is the co-founder and principal of the firm. He is the Architect of Record for all Wingate Hughes projects. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business and Fine Arts from Skidmore College and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Maryland. Gavin Hughes Daniels is the other co-founder and principal. He specializes in commercial interior architecture and studied at Texas A&M University at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Featured Projects

Their work on iStrategyLabs is some of the most exciting on this list. Because the company creates digital and physical experiences for some of the biggest brands in the world, the space had to reflect that — and it does. Every corner is unique, complete with hidden passageways, a library, a hardware workshop, a production studio, a 1960s van that serves as a conference room, and a bar in the kitchen for those Friday happy hours. Their Optoro project is also excellent. The 27.5k-square-foot space is located on G Street NW. The new conference rooms have glass rolling doors that mimic those of a warehouse and give transparency to the space. There is also a multi-functional kitchen space that is used for all sorts of events, with a beautiful Garden on the Wall on the ceiling.

6
DCS Design

Architects:
Douglas Carter

Awards:
AIA Walter Taylor Award,
AASA Award,
National Energy Conservation/Owens-Corning National Award,
Northern Virginia AIA Award of Honor

Address:
8614 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 800, Tysons, Virginia 22182

Contact:
703-556-9275 |
info@dcsdesign.com

About DCS Design

DCS Design calls itself one of the largest locally owned architectural and interior architectural firms in the DC Metropolitan area. Named one of the Top 50 “Rising 100 Giants” by Interior Design Magazine in 2017, they offer a variety of services and have plentiful experience in the workplace arena. Founding principal of DCS Douglas Carter has over 40 years of experience designing projects for Fortune 500 companies and educational and commercial clients. Under his leadership at DCS, the firm won over 90 awards, such as the Walter Taylor AIA and AASA Award and the National Energy Conservation/Owens-Corning National Award. Carter received the Northern Virginia AIA Award of Honor in 1998. The firm is also committed to sustainability and hosts a yearly sustainability summit in DC.

Featured Projects

One significant project is their design of CustomInk’s headquarters. The goal of the design was “community,” and connectedness is present in every aspect of the design. The 70k-square-foot office has distinct “Neighborhoods” for the different teams. The office is designed as a streetscape, with different parks, food places, and gathering areas. An outside patio is an excellent perk. Another DCS project is the ASTRO health clinic and nonprofit in Arlington. Winning a Best Interiors CREW DC award, the 30k-square-foot space offers a calming and timeless design for the oncology office. Natural materials, such as stone and wood, were used throughout the space, as well as sculptural elements in the waiting area to reflect the shape of the double helix.

5
Page

Architects:
Robert Burke
rturo Chavez
Mattia Flabian
Michael Mace
Thomas McCarthy
Lawrence Speck
James Wright

Awards:
AIA Firm of the Year,
AIA Design Award

Address:
615 M Street, NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036

Contact:
202-909-4900 |
contactus@pagethink.com

About Page

Originally founded in Austin but now located all over the world, Page is a leader in visionary architecture. It has undergone revolutionary change as a company in its 100-year history. The Washington DC office was established in the early 1990s. Since then, they have taken on a considerable amount of commercial and government-market projects. One of their first big urban projects was The Navy League Building, which was the first Page building to achieve Silver LEED certification. Their leading presence in DC has helped them to become the go-to architects for the Department of State, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the General Services Administration. SST Planners recently joined the DC office, bringing their award-winning experience in laboratory and design planning. Page was recently named as one of the Top 30 Architect Firms in the US by Architectural Record.

Featured Projects

Located in a confidential location on the East Coast, the United Airlines Data Center was a massive project for Page. Special attention had to be paid to correctly and safely construct the data center infrastructure. The 308k-square-foot project has many phases involved, but Phase 1 includes the backup Emergency Operations Center for the main OPS center. They also completed an entire interior renovation for OPS’s own offices, which is also the headquarters of Page in DC. The 16.2k-square-foot project is a single-level office located at 1615 M Street. The design was carefully created to best reflect the multi-disciplinary firm and to ensure that it would last for many years to come. The space is mostly a neutral white, with seven bright accent colors. A benching workspace solution was used for the open office plan.

4
OTJ Architects

Architects:
Lance Jaccard
Roger Sola-Sole
Ania Leeson
Tony Martin

Awards:
AIA Virginia Award,
IIDA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Award,
NAIOP “Best Interiors” Award

Address:
555 11th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20004

Contact:
202-621-1000 |
info@otj.com

About OTJ Architects

With offices in New York City and Washington DC, OTJ Architects is an interior architecture firm specializing in workplaces. They’ve worked with offices of all sizes, from startup to well-established firms. Seven different partners lead OTJ. Lance Jaccard, Roger Sola-Sole, Ania Leeson, and Tony Martin are the four studio directors. When working with a company, OTJ focuses on five factors: rate of change, real estate costs, technology, renewal or relocation, and wellness. They have also won several awards, most recently a 2017 AIA Virginia Award, a 2017 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Mid-Atlantic Chapter Award, and a 2015 NAIOP “Best Interiors” Award. Their workplace designs have also been extensively featured in Inc. Magazine, as well as Fortune Magazine.

Featured Projects

One of their most notable recent projects is Alarm.com’s new headquarters in Tyson’s Corner. It required collaborative, showcase, and workplace areas. One of the biggest perks of the office is the oxygen room, which houses live plants and trees enclosed in glass. There’s bench seating so employees can enjoy the calm atmosphere. The office kitchen also has a 350-gallon pond in the center. OTJ also worked on the renovation and expansion of the Adobe offices in DC. Because Adobe is so vibrant and technology-oriented as a brand, these aspects were incorporated into the design. Finding new ways to integrate Adobe’s technology into the design was a significant part of the process. Pops of color dominate the interior. They also had to address security needs in the design so that work would not be hindered in the future.

3
Shalom Baranes Associates

Architects:
Shalom Baranes

Awards:
AIA Award of Excellence,
DC Preservation League 45th Anniversary Award

Address:
1010 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20007

Contact:
202-342-2200 |
info@sbaranes.com

About Shalom Baranes Associates

DC-based Shalom Baranes Associates is an impressive firm in the area and the world. Founded 36 years ago, they have created projects totalling over $7B and 30M square feet. The firm has received an astounding 140 design awards. Shalom Baranes is the founding principal of the firm. His interest in revitalizing the urban landscape has made him an expert in the DC area and has made Shalom Baranes Associates a force in the historic preservation and urban planning fields. Baranes has been involved in creating designs for several skylines in the area, including Rosslyn and Baltimore, among others. One of the youngest architects ever to be inducted into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, Baranes earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture from Yale University. He also chaired the DC Architectural Review Panel.

Featured Projects

Shalom Baranes Associates worked on the ambitious Union Market Office and Theater, which reflects the food distribution and food markets that have traditionally been a part of the neighborhood. The buildings have an industrial feel and comprise of three uses: food markets (215k square feet), a theater (42k square feet), and office space (112k square feet). The market building was able to remain open during the construction. Another project is 655 New York Ave, NW, an 11-story office space located in the Mount Vernon historic district in the center of DC. There are 10 levels of above-ground office and retail space plus three levels of below-grade parking. Achieving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating, the building honors the height of the other buildings in this historic district.

2
Studios Architecture

Architects:
Todd DeGarmo

Awards:
NR Mid-Atlantic Award of Merit: Office/Retail Mixed-Use Developments

Address:
1625 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Contact:
202-736-5900 |
abriscoe@studios.com

About Studios Architecture

Internationally known, Studios Architecture’s Washington DC office is a force in the area. They work with local, federal, and foreign governments, law firms, financial firms, schools, and various businesses. The firm’s CEO, Todd DeGarmo, has worked with his diverse clients (such as the Pentagon and Dow Jones) in every step of the design process. He was educated at the University of Cincinnati. A member of several boards and organizations, DeGarmo is also GSA Design Excellence Peer Reviewer and a fellow in the American Institute of Architects, and he was inducted into Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2007. The Washington DC office is located in a renovated historic school building in DC’s Central Business District. In addition to office architecture, Studios Architecture also specializes in workplace strategy to aim for top efficiency.

Featured Projects

Studios Architecture worked with Arent Fox, a DC-based law firm, to examine their current space. Studios determined that another space would serve the firm better, and they designed a new office environment. New elements included a formal reception area, a visitor-focused conference center, a seating auditorium with increased capacity, breakout areas, and reception areas for both casual and formal events. Another significant project is the Politico office space in Arlington, Virginia. After a test fit process, a building was selected for the new headquarters. The lower level is open and houses the editorial staff. Recording studios are on the wings of that level, flanking the newsroom. An interconnecting stair was constructed to lead the main level to the “collaborative zone,” a space for Politico employees.

1
Gensler

Architects:
Art Gensler
Andy Cohen
Diane Hoskins

Awards:
#1 ENR 2016 Top 150 Global Design Firms,
#1 Architectural Record 2016 Top 300.

Address:
2020 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

Contact:
202-721-5200 |
info@gensler.com

About Gensler

Considered the largest and one of the leading firms in the world, Gensler is a powerhouse. With over 600+ million square feet of sustainable work, Gensler is committed to sustainability. They partner with community organizations all over the world to affect social change. Co-CEOs Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins lead this formidable firm of 5,000+ employees creating in 44 offices who serve clients in over 100 countries. Cohen and Hoskins both made the Business Insider’s elite “Creators” list, a collection of the world’s 100 top creative visionaries. Gensler is an expert in workplace architecture. Gensler recently topped the list at No. 1 of the ENR 2016 Top 150 Global Design Firms. They also were the No. 1 architecture firm for Architectural Record 2016 Top 300.

Featured Projects

One of their notable workplace designs is Fried Frank, an international law firm in DC. The space has great views of the White House, which were maximized by floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Gensler also worked to add more light throughout to counter the darkness of the old office. Efficiency and flexibility were the foci of the design, as demonstrated by convertible conference rooms. Another project is their design for The Washington Post’s headquarters. Gensler took down many walls, opening up the floor plan to promote more connection and dynamic flow. A black and white color scheme is dominant, with some color pops. Open ceilings, exposed columns, and concrete capture the raw architecture of the space. Newspaper graphics and headlines are sprinkled throughout the office.

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