WASHINGTON, D.C. | 6,200 sf | 2010

The Alzheimer’s Association asked SKB to design a high quality space in a downtown Washington DC office building with a very limited construction and furniture budget. The space program included a large conference room to serve as a destination for many small, related organizations, private offices around the perimeter of the space and an open office workstation area in the center.

The main reception space is a simple, understated area anchored by a large glass wall comprised of several layers of textured and colored glass, each of which have a part of the Alzheimer’s Association logo. The layers of glass interplay with each other and one cannot get a clear view of the logo as appears to – frustratingly – change and hide as the viewer moves around the glass. It is a sensitive and respectful way to reinforce the mysterious nature of this tragic condition while remaining upbeat and hopeful. Because of the building’s complex structural organization the natural arrangement of doors and sidelights into the perimeter offices was chaotic and it seemed inappropriate for an organization dedicated to unlocking the mystery of a form of dementia to have an office environment that seems disorienting. SKB’s solution was to introduce an alternating rhythm of painted drywall bands, using the AA’s logotype purple, in between the doors and sidelights, regularizing the rhythm of the wall and creating order in what seemed naturally dis-orderly. Because of SKB’s extensive knowledge of furniture, the design team was able to specify high quality furniture and shave all but the important individual components to get the cost to the minimum while maintain a high quality that can serve the AA for years.