American Chemistry Council

Location: Washington, DC
Project Size: 92,000 sf

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) project posed a unique set of challenges for the design team. While the program itself was straightforward, the building’s saw-toothed shape presented a design challenge. Rather than fight or hide the unique shape, the design team utilized these conditions of the building to inspire the design. By isolating the wedge-shaped spaces at the interior of the plan, we created spaces that used less efficient blocks of space to reinforce branding and established clear circulation across the floor plate.

Following our visioning and programming sessions with ACC, the design team determined to create a space that was meaningful to both ACC and to the chemical industry they represent. The chemical industry manufactures many of the base components in construction. This provided an opportunity to incorporate unique solutions with progressive materials from member companies. Among the more dynamic and unique materials specified was Sensitile, which was utilized in the design of the reception desk and other focal areas. The interactive and translucent properties of the material created animated design elements.

Other design elements in the space consisted of large-scale branding and communication elements. These elements were murals consisting of images of the periodic elements, which are instrumental in chemistry. These murals reinforced to visitors, member companies, and employees ACC’s core message that chemistry is essential to everyday life. Iconic images of Washington, DC were used in these murals to illustrate the connection that ACC facilitates between the chemical industry and the government. Other murals utilized images of chemistry in action to represent member companies. Secondary super-graphics of large carbon, hexagonal shapes were utilized in the reception area and as a subtle motif in the office corridors.