Monumental Presence

Monumental Presence


The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Class A headquarters combines state-of-the-art conferencing and communications capabilities in a sophisticated 130,000-SF build-to-suit office reflective of their aspirations and international scope.

Institutional in character and contemporary in style, the nine-story build-to-suit headquarters features an asymmetrical façade composed of a contrasting combination of glass and traditional Tennessee Pink limestone, a material commonly seen along the National Mall.

A monumental multi-story entry lobby incorporates the angular language of the exterior facade and acts as the connector between three levels of world-class conferencing facilities including smaller conference rooms below grade to the 400-person conference hall on the second floor. All surfaces in the northern facing lobby are pale in color and reflective to amplify the minimal amount of sunlight that it receives.

The nonprofit organization hosts over 500 conferences annually, attracting 20,000 attendees from around the globe. Each conference room feature full in-house catering capabilities, state-of-the-art audio visual resources, and a central computer system which controls air-conditioning, lighting, screens, and sun exposure.

To distinguish from the typical think tank environment and appeal to a younger generation, employee offices are centered around the Commons, a multi-story atrium designed to foster collaboration among staff by providing a café, mailing services, and internal meeting rooms. A dynamic stair provides easy access between floors while a skylight floods the space with an abundance of natural light.

A Global Data Chandelier is featured in the building’s lobby. The unique centerpiece is made of more than 425 individual L.E.D. acrylic rods each connected to the internet and programmed to respond to breaking news from any geo-political region, providing real time visual snapshots in an elegant mashup of art and technology.


1616 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC


Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)


General Contractor: HITT Contracting
Project Management: JLL






Office, Workplace