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Gensler's New D.C. Office Celebrates the Design Process

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray helps Gensler open its new Washington, D.C., office. Image © Gensler

Gensler’s Washington, D.C., office opened its doors in 1983. Since that time, both our staff and the scope of our work within the greater metropolitan area have grown by leaps and bounds. Today, Gensler commemorated a new milestone in the evolution of the D.C. office by opening a new work space at 2020 K Street NW. Mayor Vincent Gray helped us mark the occasion by participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new space embodies the design principles our firm strives to achieve through our project work and reiterates our commitment to the nation’s capital and our K Street home.

One of the largest design firms in the metropolitan D.C. region, Gensler has been fortunate to experience significant growth over the past few years. The rapid addition of more staff has required us to add more teaming and individual work space, and we determined that this growth presented an opportunity to create a place that would enhance our designers’ creative processes. After analyzing current and potential needs, we chose to add to our existing offices at 2020 K Street rather than relocate.

At the onset of this project we laid out a series of goals. We wanted the new space to foster a culture of innovation, greater collaboration, and design exploration; to celebrate the design process, bringing it to the foreground and creating a connection with clients and partners; and to create a physical connection to the community, establishing Gensler’s D.C. office as a place for dialogue and discourse. We wanted to create a space that is about designing the future of design and that connected our growing staff with a vertically integrated campus. That may sound like a lot of fancy designer-speak, but we believe these goals are realized and communicated through our new work space’s simple visual language.

Any passerby walking along K Street between 20th and 21st streets will see Gensler’s new storefront. Marked by 90 feet of large, transparent windows, this street-level presence creates a porthole to our design work, increasing our connection to the community and allowing us to feed off the city’s energy. In sight of the general public, our designers work next to large multi-purpose spaces and our gCafé. This offers guests, clients, and others an opportunity to glimpse the design process as it occurs, and we hope this added transparency will increase everyone’s understanding of our work. We purposely designed the space to be very open—this is a place where guests and clients can sit down with a cup of coffee and work, have an informal conversation, or just catch their breath. We don’t want to rush anyone out the door; this is a space for others as well as for Gensler folk.

Mayor Gray tours Gensler's new D.C. office with Jordan Goldstein and Diane Hoskins. Image © Gensler

The new work space also includes areas where we will host a variety of community-focused events each year. A large multipurpose space with stadium seating and small conference rooms will accommodate outside speakers, industry meetings, roundtable discussions, breakout sessions, and more—all focused on our clients, the design community, and the greater D.C. region. To push our firm’s culture of innovation in new and challenging directions, we created a fabrication lab where our design teams can get their hands dirty and develop forward-thinking design solutions to existing problems. Complete with a 3D printer, laser cutter, table saw, and woodshop tools, the lab places advanced modeling tools in designers’ hands so that they can quickly test ideas and prototypes. This easy access to fabrication technology will allow for greater design risk-taking.

The advanced technology and A/V equipment located throughout the space provides our design teams with better internal mobility as well, permitting everyone to work anywhere in the office more fluidly. We can also work hand in hand with our clients and outside consultants, sharing insights and increasing collaboration with people who can offer different perspectives and ideas. As we’ve learned through our workplace research, a culture of internal and external collaboration is critical to obtaining lasting success in the knowledge economy.

After many months of construction and waiting for the opening of this highly anticipated space, I can safely say that everyone in Gensler’s D.C. office is very happy that our new work space is finally open. We are excited to share the design process with our clients and other members of the surrounding community.

Jordan Goldstein is the managing director of Gensler’s Washington, D.C. office, leading award-winning projects in mixed use, hospitality, retail, education and brand strategy. Jordan is a registered architect in five states, a LEED accredited professional, and was named as one of the “40-Under-40” national industry leaders in Building Design & Construction magazine in 2007. Contact him at jordan_goldstein@gensler.com.

Reader Comments (5)

Very nice post of the day. I hope every one should get the maximum benefit from this.
10.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDesigner Offices
I really want to see such more posts in future. Excellent post!
12.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterABD Design Studio
I'm told I'm very analytic with a great way to present things, but sometimes imagining cool stuff would be nice. Hope you love the new place!

Singapore Office,
01.21.2014 | Unregistered Commentershaira
I love this concept and as an Artist I am always looking for ways to push the envelope in art. Lets collaborate on a project. My number is 202 713 6931.
06.15.2015 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Wise
I would love to bring this to an area in Anacostia, for Artist working on projects that require certain types of spaces for a short period of time. Please contact me at : thecommunityofself@gmail.com or 202 713 6931, this is doable as an experiment that can turn into economic development.
06.15.2015 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Wise

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