Washington, DC

The Lenkin Company and 
The Tower Companies

Service Type

Project Type

Office: 140,000 sf
Retail: 6,000 sf

Parking: 54,000 sf


2010 NAIOP MD/DC Award of Excellence Best Urban Office, up to 150,000 SF

2009 AIA Potomac Valley Chapter, Honor Award, Commercial Architecture

1050 K Street is a 146,000 sf 11-story office building located on the southeast corner of 11th and K Streets Northwest. The site is located in the expanding east end of the K Street Central Business District and in close proximity to the New Convention Center as well as the future development of the Old Convention Center site.
This section of K Street has seen a surge of new growth and in recent years, creating a very competitive market for Class A trophy office space.

The ownership team challenged the design team to create a building based on the principles of a “Haiku”— a building that would combine form, content, and language in a meaningful yet compact way. The design team responded by creating a sustainable interpretation of the modern glass box that has a visual presence anchoring the east end of K Street. The sculpted angled planes of the glass façades give the building a distinct form with a few subtle gestures which then reveal the transparent lobby volume below.

The language of the building envelope draws its inspiration from the sustainable concept of a leaf, which provides shelter and shade in the summer months while allowing warmth and light to permeate through in the winter. Reinforcing that concept, the western-facing elevation, which receives the sun’s most powerful rays, employs a system of louvered shading devices positioned to shade the interior of the building during the peak summer months and to let light pass through and into the building during the winter months. Along with shading devices, the western façade uses a highly efficient blue glass and ceramic fritting to reduce the solar heat gain while still maintaining great visibility for the building’s users. The designers articulated the northern-facing façade which receives less intense rays from the sun, with minimal mullions to allow the largest expanse of floor to ceiling glass to capture a maximum amount of daylight for the occupants.

This façade then rises as a tower element high above K Street to create a sheltered rooftop garden and give the building a larger presence when viewed down K and 11th Streets. The rooftop garden offers spectacular views of the Washington Monument, K Street and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception while providing outdoor amenity space for the tenants. The top ten floors of office space are perched on a clear glass curtain wall base anchored by stone pilasters which differentiate the retail portion of the building and provide for more transparency at the pedestrian level.

This concept of transparency and the blurring of the inside and outside help shape the two-story lobby at the corner of 11th and K Streets. Utilizing a low iron, point-supported glass curtain wall to clad the lobby allows for the maximum visual clarity into the space and a stunning view of the two-story Jerusalem Stone feature wall from the exterior. The blue glass curtain wall and metal panel from the office volume above extend into the lobby, further tying the inside and outside together.

Within the lobby, the corridor walls that lead to the elevators are designed to contrast with each other: one side is clad with warm weathered sycamore wood paneling while the opposite side is clad with a cool blue glass wall. Lining both sides of the wood and blue glass walls are a collection of custom framed original prints of noted architectural photographer Ezra Stoller. The ownership group selected a curator and commissioned the Stoller Archives to produce two sets of prints which are showcased in the lobby, typical floor toilet rooms, and penthouse gallery. These photographs provide a unifying theme for the tenants throughout the building and increase architectural and cultural awareness for visitors.

Beyond the ownership team’s commitment to the arts, they are also passionate about their commitment to sustainability as philosophy. 1050 K Street has achievedLEED® Gold Certification under the USGBC Core and Shell Pilot program. From a leasing standpoint, the building had to be as efficient as possible, with its small size footprint of 13,000 sf per floor. To maximize flexibility of the typical tenant floors, the building’s structural system was designed on a 30’x40’ column grid with post tensioned slabs providing for column-free space from the building core to the perimeter exterior wall. This combination of column-free space and expansive glass provides the enduser great flexibility and access to daylight.

Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design

1050 K Street has achieved LEED® Gold Certification under the USGBC Core and Shell Pilot program. The building implemented several unique strategies such as frictionless chillers, an energy recovery unit which harnesses the embodied energy of the exhaust air, and an efficient glazing system to achieve 26% energy performance over the code-required base line. While water efficiency and storm water management are an important issue nationwide, it is paramount in the Washington, DC area due to the District’s combined sewer system and proximity to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. To reduce the impact on the surrounding environment, 1050 K Street has cut its water use by 51% by installing dual flush toilets, automatic sensor faucets, and waterless urinals. To reduce the impact on the municipal water treatment facility, the building has a landscaped green roof which retains rain water. Any rain water that is not contained on the roof or falls on the site below is captured in a cistern in the basement of the building along with the condensate produced by the mechanical system. The cistern discharges the stored water on site through a bio-retention system in the planters outside the lobby or through irrigation on site and on the green roof, both of which serve to enrich the experience for all visitors.


2009 AIA Potomac Valley Chapter, Honor Award, Commercial Architecture