Dramatic water wall in Eco-Lobby highlights innovation for LEED Platinum project
Located at the confluence of 17th and H Streets in Washington DC, PNC Place resides on a prominent corner a block away from the White House. With axial views to the Monument, the building is oriented toward this remarkable southern exposure. In a city of monuments, the team set out to design a building that is of its context, is timeless in its style and is precise in its detailing. The building also aspires to establish a new benchmark in the city by achieving LEED Platinum status.
The building envelope is an arrangement of planar manipulations composed around solar orientation and axial views. Being that the precious Monument vistas toward the south imply a high degree of visual transparency, solar exposure would suggest otherwise. A protective second skin on this façade creates a unique signature opportunity and recognisable feature for the building. The massing and curtain wall detailing reinforce this gesture toward the primary views.
The base and lobby of the building are designed to be of a scale familiar to the immediate context and to make a large urban room that connects the lobby to the prominent street corner. The tall double-height glass walls create an inviting environment connecting the exterior and interior spaces.
The concept of the Eco-Lobby centers around the notion that the entry lobby is a transitional space and human comfort is derived from radiant cooled and heated surfaces. Central to this concept is the signature Water Wall that runs the length of the lobby providing a cooling surface of chilled water falling down stretched metal mesh panels.