Urban Institute Offices – Washington DC

The Urban Institute moved from their office of nearly 30 years, into a light-filled modern headquarters with views to Washington DC’s latest mixed-use waterfront development, The Wharf.

  • Client Urban Institute,
  • size 140,000 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location Washington DC, United States,
  • Industry Non-Profit / Government,
  • HYL Architecture achieved the design of the Urban Institute offices, a think tank for economic and social policy, located in Washington DC.

    The new headquarters includes a public-facing conference center with expanded ceiling heights, open and bright office floors with collaborative zones, all connected by an internal stair.

    The design of the office floors supports internal interaction through the systematic layering of collaboration areas in the workplace. Urban’s Research Centers each occupy their own ‘neighborhoods’ which are connected by an open stairwell and shared meeting spaces to encourage the cross pollination of ideas. Abstracted maps and brand colors were incorporated in the interconnecting stair to enliven the design, encourage movement, and aid wayfinding within the office. Though the research-based nature of their work requires many enclosed offices, the floor plan was strategically opened to the perimeter, placing group work areas by the windows to energize the space, encourage the sharing of knowledge, and take advantage of natural light and views.

    Design: HYL Architecture
    Design Team: Catherine Heath, Whitney Loke, William Fischer, Lauren Otto, Wang Jiang
    Photography: Garrett Rowland