Capital Guidance is a global real estate investment firm that has major projects in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. This project provided a headquarters, with commanding views of Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, DC, for the main executives of the company.
Madison Marquette is one of the nation’s premier retail and residential developers and is a part of the Capital Guidance family, and the project provided a headquarters for its national organization as well as a home for managing its projects in the Washington, DC region. As the space was on two floors, each floor had its own reception area and identity, but were connected by a central stair.

The client wanted an appropriate image for Capital Guidance as a major investment firm, communicating the ideas of permanence, sophistication and being a forward looking company. The challenge was developing an image for Madison Marquette. Because Madison Marquette is selling
retail and residential real estate, there is an inherent difference in the company’s image from Capital Guidance. Madison wanted to project excitement, energy, what’s next, variety, cutting edge and so forth. At the same time, Madison Marquette also wanted to present itself as the premier retail developer, reflecting the sophistication that comes from Capital Guidance.

The existing space was extremely dark with a small floor opening for a steel spiral stair with hollow metal pipe rails. The new design of the lobbies started with white lacquer paneling cut into slats to make the space feel light and somewhat transparent. The stair opening was widened and the stair re-clad with stone treads and risers, a new glass rail and a pearlized paint finish to make the stair appear appropriately dramatic.

The two-story wall behind the stair is clad with textured glass, and at the top and bottom of the wall are strips of LED lights which are programmed to change color during the course of the day to any of an infinite array of colors. The glass wall serves as a kind of high-end neon sign, and the space always changes and is always colorful, and there is always a sense of anticipation of what will come next.
While the seating area of the Capital Guidance lobby is anchored by a beautiful stone wall, the Madison Marquette lobby is populated with a series of display tables, monitors and model stands.

Thus, the project strikes the perfect balance between the ethereal nature of retail and the permanent nature of capital investment.

WASHINGTON, D.C. | 22,000 sf | 2007 |