The Donohoe Companies, Inc.
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PROJECT The Donohoe Companies, Inc.
LOCATION Bethesda, Maryland, United States
PROJECT COMPLETION DATE 7/1/2016
ARCHITECT DBI Architects, Inc.
ASSOCIATED ARCHITECT N/A
OWNER/CLIENT The Donohoe Companies, Inc.
CONTRACTOR / CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Donohoe Construction
PHOTOGRAPHER Eric Taylor Photography
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN TEAM Roseanne Beattie, AIA, Michael Boyer, IIDA, LEED AP, and Kaitlin Dyer, LEED AP
SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
In the center of downtown Bethesda’s business district, the new 40,356-SF headquarters of the Donohoe Companies, Inc. is situated on the 6th and 7th floors of the 14-story high-rise at 7101 Wisconsin Avenue. Considering that Donohoe had been headquartered in Northwest, Washington, DC for 132 years, the firm’s move to this new location marks a significant turning point in its history. In 2016, the company moved its 240 employees, as well as its construction, real estate, and development divisions, to the newly renovated building in Bethesda.
To create the company’s new home, the architect implemented an “urban corporate sleek” design philosophy. The palette was kept simple and clean, implementing warm whites, beige marble, classic walnut, and accents of stainless steel, while also punctuating the space with sophisticated architectural details and encouraging the unimpeded flow of daylight. Donohoe’s brand, corporate logo, and colors were infused into all aspects of the design.
The new monumental stair, a main focal point, is centrally located within the reception area to enhance daily workflow. The entire stair run is supported by a single steel stringer; all treads are cantilevered nearly four feet in each direction, thereby appearing to float within the space. As a backdrop to the stair, a two-story, four-sided feature wall was designed to capture Donohoe’s 132-year history, starting with a picture of the Capitol to emphasize that Donohoe has been a DC-based firm from the outset. The breakroom is centrally located on the 6th floor at the bottom of the monumental stair. This communal environment is designed with multiple zones, ranging from lounge seating to café tables and custom bar-height counters.
To promote collaboration while retaining privacy, the central work area is two-thirds open, team-based studio space and one-third enclosed offices. Floor-to-ceiling glass in all offices maintains a visual connection to the adjacent open areas while promoting the flow of natural light to all workstations. Collaboration zones were created in various sizes for impromptu conversations and meetings.
The architect successfully maximized the functionality and utility of Donohoe’s new headquarters while implementing a sophisticated design that underscores the company’s identity and style—and provides the DC region’s oldest full-service real estate company with a modern, urbane, and upscale work place.
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IMAGE CAPTIONS & CREDITS
IMAGE 1 The Donohoe Companies_Thumbnail, Monumental Stair, Photography ©Eric Taylor
IMAGE 2 The Donohoe Companies_high res int 1, Breakroom, Photography ©Eric Taylor
IMAGE 3 The Donohoe Companies_high res int 2, Reception Desk (Ascending the Stair), Photography ©Eric Taylor
IMAGE 4 The Donohoe Companies_image 1, Reception, Photography ©Eric Taylor
IMAGE 5 The Donohoe Companies_image 2, Teaming Space, Photography ©Eric Taylor
IMAGE 6 The Donohoe Companies_image 3, Touchdown/Hoteling Office, Photography ©Eric Taylor
IMAGE 7 The Donohoe Companies_image 4, Private Offices Flanking Center Studio, Photography ©Eric Taylor