In 2008, a Chicago-based development company purchased 1620 L Street NW, a 12-storey office building in downtown Washington, DC. After hiring VOA Associates, the new owner decided to reposition the 164,079 sq. ft Class B building through a capital improvement programme. Planned upgrades included redeveloping the building's main entrance and façade, lobby, and elevator lobby, and adding new amenity spaces such as a fitness centre and conference centre, adjacent to the lobby. Originally completed in 1989, the postmodern building required repositioning to gain Class A status and enable it to better compete in the Washington DC office market.
Prior to renovations, the building's outdated façade was comprised of a glass, steel, and granite entrance canopy and exterior. A dark, poorly lit main lobby, corridor and elevator lobby finished in dark wood and marble was also out-of-date and uninspiring. VOA addressed the challenge of creating a more significant identity at the building's entry by removing the bulky entrance canopy and replacing it with a two-level full glass façade to provide clearer views and daylight to the interior.
In the main lobby and elevator lobby, new, clean, off-white marble and lighter wood finishes replaced the darker wood and colours used in the building's original design, adding greater depth and volume to the lobby space. A feature wall, located at the rear of the main lobby facing the exterior, further draws the viewer's eye inside from the street. A new mezzanine area, first floor conference centre and fitness centre with locker rooms were added to offer Class A level amenities for tenants.