Built in 1982, 440 First Street was an office building at the end of its useful lifespan. The building’s narrow floor plate and central core created challenging planning depths. A goal was to leverage the District’s new Height Act to add 20 feet of height — a limit that made the addition of one floor infeasible and two floors challenging.
By demolishing the existing top floor, we were able to add three new floors with higher ceilings. A new, off-set core and steel framing allows for 45-foot, column-free planning depths. We added 35,000 SF to the building and salvaged 70% of the original structural frame.
A clear glass curtain wall on the building’s front façade allows maximum daylight on the interior. Our design solution differentiates the structural frame from the building envelope, due to the absence of spandrel glass. We created a sense of visual movement as this system steps beyond the street wall and diffuses into the sky where the façade meets the roof.
We believe building systems are integral to the architecture. For wellness and sustainability, our design solution implemented the District’s first Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS). This HVAC system increases indoor air quality and energy efficiency, reduces energy costs, and enables higher ceilings for a more pleasant environment.
We recycled the original structure and transformed 440 First Street into a new work environment. Our dedication to healthy and sustainable practices earned LEED Platinum certification, serving as a case study for other developments.