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Name   Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Headquarters
Architects   SAFDIE, MOSHE 
Date   2008
Address   Washington, DC, USA
Floor Plan   39205 SQ.M.

Designed as part of the GSA’s Design Excellence program, the new headquarters for ATF finds new ways to solve security issues and workplace integration in a pivotal Washington, D.C. neighborhood location. Public and private gardens are integrated through a protective arcade, visually opening the building to the city. A double wall glass fa├žade evokes a civic, transparent identity for both the department and the neighborhood.

As the national headquarters for a government agency with the highest security requirements, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives building balances protection and openness, becoming a catalyst for urban renewal and rejuvenation in the surrounding district. The building contains general office space, extensive training facilities, an auditorium and auxiliary services.

Notwithstanding security setback requirements, the complex engages and animates the surrounding street edges. The entrance is positioned across from a Metro station on the southeast corner. Retail facilities line 2nd Street to the east, and a trellised garden wall defines N Street to the south. A three-storey planted arcade crescent contains the site to the north and west, enclosing an internal garden and inconspicuously serving as a security barrier.

Auxiliary elements such as loading docks and an inspection booth are integrated into the overall fabric of buildings and garden walls. Maximum flexibility is achieved through the provision of a technical subfloor for the distribution of data and mechanical services. The office space consists of efficient floor plates surrounding a large atrium, thus affording daylight for all workspaces.

  • Collaborators

    OPX Architects, Washington, DC, Associate Architects
    Weidlinger Associates, Structural Engineers
    Cosentini Associates, MEP Engineers
    Brown Sardina Inc., Landscape Architects
    Greenhorne & O’Mara, Civil Engineers

  • Clients

    United States General Services Administration

  • Cost

    US $80 million


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