Industrial architecture encompasses a wide range of building types, including factories, warehouses, and power plants among other manufacturing and processing structures. On this list of the best industrial architects in Washington, you’ll find professionals who have decades of experience in dealing with such complex projects. These expert firms are even able to turn these functional buildings into aesthetically pleasing places to work. The firms on this list are multinational companies that have made their mark with various international brand names and internationally famous clients by creating some of the most functional, sometimes even beautiful industrial spaces you can imagine.
1700 New York Avenue, NW, Suite #100, Washington DC 20006
Established in 1853, SmithGroup is more than just a traditional design and engineering firm. This firm is a multinational organization with multiple awards for c projects that span the country. SmithGroup has been featured in This Is Design Intelligence, Metal Architecture, and Consulting among many other industry magazines that have praised its work in a number of markets. The firm’s portfolio showcases work in the science and technology, government, cultural, health, and residential sectors. Among its many stunning and complex projects is the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy systems integration facility. A 182,000-square-foot structure that brought the firm a LEED Platinum Award, it is a facility designed to test and deploy next-generation technologies and advancements in power production and electrical infrastructure.
2001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite #540, Washington DC 20006
NBBJ’s worldwide team is capable of crafting beautiful innovations for the full breadth of the firm’s clients. Established in 1943, NBBJ has been named three times as one of the world’s most innovative architecture firms—a suitable reputation for a team with more than 800 researchers, strategists, architects, planners, interior designers, and even nurses. The firm has partnered with giants like Google, Samsung, Amazon as well as institutional leaders like Cleveland Clinic and the University of Cambridge. For Microsoft, the firm built Blue Sky Beijing. Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific Research & Development Group’s two-building headquarters in Zhongguancun was reinterpreted to fit into the compact urban setting. Imagined as smaller vertically connected buildings, the two buildings have three-story clusters of office floors linked by a series of sky gardens. Over the years, the firm and its projects have been featured in publications like The New York Times and Architectural Record to name just two of the publications that have praised its abilities.
1250 I Street NW, Suite #600, Washington, DC 20005
As a large, multinational firm with international projects, HKS views design as a grueling, yet exciting process of discovery. With 82 years of experience, this firm has a team that extends beyond architects and interior designers. The HKS team also includes urban designers, graphic designers, researchers—even nurses and anthropologists. This diverse team has worked together to create structures that present either beauty, complexity, functionality—and sometimes all three. Among these projects is the Washington Headquarters Services Complex, a cluster of buildings that are modern and progressive in character, with sweeping views of both Washington and its natural campus setting. HKS’s other projects have been featured in publications like Forbes, Interior Design, and Arch Daily. The firm has won the 2020 Outstanding Organization of the Year for New Construction Award, the 2020 Fast Company Innovation by Design Spaces & Places, Health, and General Excellence Award, and the 2018 Innovator Women in Leadership Award.
2020 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
In a competitive environment with a culture of design innovation, Gensler has made space for itself at the top. Established by the renowned architecture icon, the late Arthur Gensler Jr., his namesake firm is known for crafting projects that holistically improve the human experience. The firm has been recognized with awards, including the 2021 American Architecture Award and the 2021 Award for World Changing Ideas. So far, the firm has served more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. With its global network of leaders and its impressive and diverse pool of talent, the firm has created complexities like New York Power Authority (NYPA)’s new Integrated Security Operations Center (iSOC) Innovation Zone and Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Located on the eighth floor of the NYPA headquarters, it is designed to make use of state-of-the-art technologies that can monitor and control the NYPA’s entire generation and transmission network across New York. It was conceptualized on the principles of history, power, water, and connection. Gensler’s reputation has been recognized by industry professionals for many years and it has been featured in publications like Engineering News-Record (ENR), The Washington Post, and Washington Business Journal.
1301 K Street NW, Stuite #300W, Washington DC 20005
Innovation and forward-thinking are the virtues that built Ware Malcomb. Since 1972, this multinational giant has worked with corporate, commercial, and residential developers as well as public and institutional clients from all over the world. The GE Center for Additive Technology Advancement is a beautiful sample of the firm’s work. A 216,000-square-foot facility that includes 21,000 square feet of office space and a lean manufacturing lab, it is the first multi-modal manufacturing site in the U.S. The facility will serve as an innovation hub in both design and applications. With the firm’s integrated and multi-disciplinary design services, Ware Malcomb has turned the heads of professionals in publications like Inc. 5000; that publication ranked the firm as one of the fastest-growing private companies. Engineering News-Record (ENR), Building Design + Construction, and Interior Design Magazine have all featured Ware Malcomb as well. As an internationally recognized name, the firm encourages its team to learn and grow in their careers in order to continuously create the dynamic and collaborative environment that has created this firm’s truly remarkable success.