Located on the campus of George Washington University, The Avenue is a mixed-use development that includes office and apartment space. An award-winning project, judges from Engineering News-Record praised Clark's handling of logistics and safety on the job.
The Avenue consists of a 10-story office building with 476,000 square feet of office space, ground-level retail space, two 12-story residential towers with 335 apartments, and five levels of below-grade parking for 1,062 vehicles. The project has five radii at different parts of the building perimeter and courtyard and had very limited lay down areas, both of which complicated construction.
The office building is defined by transparent glass, custom finishes, and multiple curves that mimic the nearby Washington Circle. The building envelope consists of unitized curtain wall framed by white aluminum caps and glazed with fritted glass. The three-story lobby is bordered by two structural glass point-supported entry walls that allow passersby to see through the lobby into the public courtyard. The lobby also features two curving, 30-foot-tall silver travertine stone walls, which were laid out over different arcs.
The central courtyard is anchored by a water feature with aquatic planting that functions as part of a storm water management system designed to collect all rainwater that falls within the property. The surrounding buildings separate at two critical locations to create visual and physical access points through the inner courtyard. The atypical courtyard configuration introduces generous amounts of light and air into the interiors, and helps to break down the overall scale of the development into smaller elements that accord with the neighborhood.
With the site comprising an entire city block, lay-down areas and site access were limited, which created a significant challenge. Project team members and subcontractors worked together to meet the aggressive schedule for turnover of the space.
The Avenue is located in Washington, D.C.'s Foggy Bottom neighborhood. The site is adjacent to a hospital, above Metro tunnels, and offered little staging and access area. During the excavation phase, blasting occurred up to three times a day, which required constant coordination between Clark Foundations and the surrounding building managers to minimize disturbance to neighbors and Metro passengers. At peak traffic flow hours, District of Columbia Special Operations Division personnel stopped pedestrian and vehicular traffic prior to each blast. In the tunnels below, Metro trains were stopped prior to each blast.
Clark Concrete perfromed the concrete work for The Avenue. Nearly 550,000 linear feet of post-tensioning cables were required for the radial slab edges located on three sides of the building. Conversely, the five levels of parking garage were reinforced by more than 60 percent of the total 3,400 tons of rebar required for the project. The entire project contained 41,000 cubic yards of concrete. Additionally, The Avenue includes over 3,000 embedded items, and high-lift framing was required in several areas.
Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, The Avenue featured several innovative design elements and construction techniques. The courtyard uses a condensate water fountain and irrigation system. In addition, the office building is capped by a green roof filled with plants and foliage.
The project team employed a three-dimensional BIM model to coordinate the mechanical, sprinkler, HVAC, and electrical components of The Avenue. The model incorporated building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components, in order to design and construct key elements of the building.