William C. Smith & Company
2006 AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Award of Merit, Interior Architecture
2005 Associated Builders and Contractors Best Interior Construction Award
William C. Smith & Company is a multi-disciplinary real estate firm specializing in the development of mixed-use residential communities. The company has several business groups, the development/executive group and the residential property management group, as well as a third administrative group. WCSmith was moving from space that had grown incrementally over ten years, resulting in a dysfunctional office environment where groups were isolated from one another.
WCSmith needed space which would enable community groups to visit the office to meet with its staff to discuss community related issues. The need for a space which would foster communication within the company and communication with the community drove the design solution.
The central feature of the design, and the inspiration for the plan, is the central reception area, characterized as The Piazza. The Piazza is surrounded by other public areas, including the café, mailroom and board room. Continuing the theme of an urban model for the space plan, the board room provides a more formal meeting space for town hall type meetings. It features custom, detailed panel-glass walls that can be slid aside, opening the board room to the piazza. An innovative design for the reception desk allows it to be split in half and rolled away during larger community meetings.
The remainder of the plan to the north and south of the piazza is organized into an “urban” side to the north and a “park”side to the south. The urban side is a grid of workstations organized off of a central boulevard. At the end of the boulevard is another conference room that frames views of the US Capitol. The vertical workstation panels are stepped to reflect an urban skyline.
The development/executive space in the “park” side, features a curving, organically-shaped ceiling mimicking a canopy of trees and terminating with views of the Anacostia River beyond.