Legacy West End

Washington, DC

The Legacy West End is an example of a past-its-prime office building perfectly located for residential conversion. The existing, late-70s-era office building would never qualify as Class A office space today because its interior spaces are smaller than modern office buildings, but those smaller dimensions are preferable for a residential setting, and its prime location between Washington and Dupont circles makes it an ideal place to live. The team at MTFA Architecture gave it a stunning modern façade, plus three upper floors and a rooftop pool; the revitalized structure gave us a lot to work with.

A new wing was added to increase the unit count. Yet the original structure, parking garage and elevator core remains intact. As we sought to transform the interiors, we had to get creative with elements that couldn't be changed. This square-shaped building had deep floor plans, requiring deeper than optimal unit layouts and inboard bedrooms. But with loft designs so popular these days, the soaring walls of glass that surround the kitchen and living areas send light streaming through the inner bedrooms' clerestory windows.

Next, we focused on reactivating the public and amenity spaces. The two-story lobby required significant renovation to transform the stark “office” feel into a residential vibe that expresses the energy of the thriving West End, yet the space was tight. The design team looked for opportunities in every nook and cranny to add new features, like the open second-floor elevator lobby that we enclosed to create booths, small conference rooms and coworking spaces that overlook the main lobby below. Due to the limited square footage on the street level, the leasing office opens directly to the main lobby and concierge area.  This concept allows for the marketing space to double as a resident gathering area in the evenings.  The lobby design focuses on comfortable seating areas around a linear-flame fireplace, while broad window seats offer views of the streetscape.  Challenged by a structural column in the middle of the space, the design team turned a problematic feature into a beautiful and functional one by cladding it with slatted millwork and encircling it with a plush banquette.

The top-floor addition—a glass box in the sky— offers a clubroom on one end and a library and outdoor terrace on the other. The sun-filled clubroom, which connects to the pool deck, enjoys sweeping views of the city, the National Cathedral and Rock Creek Park.