Project Brief

Not far from their previous headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, PBS has recently found a new home in the same neighborhood, although that neighborhood now has a new name: National Landing. Developer JBG SMITH is in the process of building Amazon’s HQ2 in the rebranded area, marking one of many recent transformations to the community. Amazon has plans to move into PBS’s old HQ building, and the nonprofit organization relocated for the first time since 2006 to a nearby building. Amidst the area’s exciting redevelopments, PBS has been a mainstay and valuable member of the neighborhood, and they needed a construction partner that could help make their new office as dynamic as possible. After a competitive process, they chose DAVIS.

Occupied building? No problem.

The 12th floor greets visitors into the office’s main reception area, and a trip through the corridors leads to the interconnecting stair that links to the 11th floor. 9Wood Grille Series panels line the corridors’ ceilings—the elegant wood baffle system interlaces with various ceiling devices, including occupancy sensors and exit signs, making for a complex installation. However, we created mockups to develop the entire system early on and ensured successful implementation. This efficiency set us up to complete the project on time, which was a crucial factor, given that the building was occupied during the entire process!

A modern headquarters for a legendary organization.

The stairs lead to the large conference center, which boasts a variety of impressive millwork pieces, including the iconic PBS logo. We pride ourselves on our practicality, and this project is no different—the conference room is even convertible to a split room with an open breakout space in the center. Other millwork elements throughout the office include a peg board shaped like the United States, with items in the board to represent PBS' member stations throughout the country, as well as a wall with built-in plaques for their major donors. For more than 50 years, PBS has served the American public by offering all citizens the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. We wanted to give them a headquarters worthy of their service, and our project team and partners stepped up to the task.

Photos via OTJ Architects