Department of General Services Headquarters Office


Washington, DC




258,000 SF


Department of General Services


Perkins Eastman


© Andrew Rugge / Perkins Eastman

The city’s new 258,000-square-foot real estate department headquarters boasts four office levels, ground-floor retail, a penthouse, rooftop terrace, and below-grade parking. Celebrating neighborhoods, culture, arts, and geography, thematic visual elements are expressed through 2D art and graphic design – all uniformly illuminated. Lighting grids and patterns reflect these themes in the ceiling as well.

Vertical surfaces in public spaces feature thematic art or graphics, highlighted by wallwashers for flexibility and emphasis. In the lobby, double-height stone walls are uniformly illuminated, while textured wood features are grazed by recessed linear baffled strips. Lounge areas on each floor mimic the city’s street grid with diagonal and orthogonal patterns, lit by direct-lensed area lights and nodal baffled downlights. Huddle spaces are integrated into the lounge zones with large anchoring drum lights that foster intimacy.

The Conference Center’s reception area features a large, suspended pendant, echoing the city’s center, with a contemporary painting side-grazed from concealed linear sources. Pre-function areas are enlivened by custom sculptural chandeliers, harmonizing with the ceiling “street” design laid out in the adjoining, divisible assembly rooms. Coordinating the playful luminous ceiling design with the interior designer was a particular challenge, with the objective of fostering uniform horizontal and vertical illumination for a variety of functions, including camera-ready video teleconferencing.

A sculptural staircase is illuminated by linear sources, enhancing the diagonal expression. Conference rooms utilize a combination of linear and point source downlights for table and user-focused illumination, while vertical surfaces are uniformly washed with discrete integrated sources.

Throughout, the design aims to integrate lighting seamlessly with architectural elements, enhancing the thematic and functional aspects of the workplace.

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