Once home to learned statesmen, wealthy merchants and grand hotels, the Market Square along Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the capitol was the hub of Washington’s business activity a century ago. Now known for its art galleries, theaters, stylish restaurants and the MCI Center, the area is also home to many of the city’s most prestigious tenants and is surrounded by key Federal agencies. Just minutes to National Airport, the project enjoys easy access to major commuter routes and is within three blocks of every metro line.
Located on the northern edge of the original Market Square, the project consists of a 13-story luxury apartment building, 11-story office building, and four-level parking garage. Designed by Studios Architecture of Washington, D.C., the office building, comprised of 370,000 square feet of premier office space and 23,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, reflects the stature of its location with a monumental granite and glass facade. Featuring a four-story atrium, the office building’s main lobby is finished in European limestone, slate and millwork with bronze railings.
The apartments, Lexington at Market Square, offer impressive views of the Navy Memorial and a wide range of amenities including concierge, on-site restaurants, terrace and fitness center. Its facade of brick and granite was designed with simple elegance in mind.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of construction is the building’s skin, consisting of a mix of curtainwall, storefront and punched window systems, which are anchored by a granite-faced precast concrete shell. Over 25,000 pieces of granite, cut into a wide range of shapes and sizes, were pre-assembled on almost 800 precast panels. These large panels weighing from 1000 pounds to 14 tons were set by both tower and mobile cranes. The intricate design of the panelized skin fits together like a giant three-dimensional puzzle, creating an especially difficult erection process.
In addition, extreme caution was required during construction due to a high-voltage electrical duct bank on site that serves critical downtown areas and needed to remain operational. The team incorporated it into the new structure, built a new duct bank to which power was transferred, and then demolished the existing duct bank with special care to abate asbestos.
The project team included structural engineer James Madison Cutts Associates of Washington, D.C., and mechanical/electrical engineer Engineering Design Group also of Washington.
Clark Construction Group, LLC is based in Bethesda, Md.