2000 L Street
2000 L Street
Making a Statement with the Region’s Most Complicated Renovation
In the world of construction, it’s one thing to build a project that turns heads; it’s another to build a project that gets the whole industry talking. 2000 L Street is one of those projects. Completed in 2018, this occupied renovation is the largest and most complex renovation project in the DC market right now that incorporates a vertical expansion and connection of two separate office towers into a single 1M-SF lot.
Project typeCommercial Repositioning
ArchitectPelli Clarke Pelli; FOX Architects
What we’re doing at 2000 L Street is precision science. This job has uniquely complicated elements that don’t exist anywhere else.
Patrick Cotter, Project Executive, DAVIS
An unforgettable statement building, Alexander Court is a trophy office development designed to maximize efficiency for tenants. The scope of work included adding four floors of long-span structural steel framing and a new mechanical system, while maintaining and phasing the removal of the existing penthouse equipment for tenants who remained in place throughout the renovation. In addition to the seven vertically-expanded and modernized elevators, we added two garage shuttles, a four-bank of elevators installed in a new shear wall and two escalators, and replaced cab finishes in seven elevators inside the adjacent 2001 K Street.
“What we’ve done at Alexander Court is precision science. This job has uniquely complicated elements that don’t exist anywhere else, threaded through an occupied building.”
Patrick Cotter, Director, DAVIS
Eyes Skyward 12 Stories Up
Our work on the 12-story atrium is one of the highlights of this project. This iconic piece of architecture is the “meaningful connection” between 2000 L Street to the adjacent 2001 K Street. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, in collaboration with FOX Architects, the atrium is unlike anything that exists in the District. Featuring a 13-story tension-supported glass wall and skylight, it sets the standard for trophy office buildings in the region. Significant structural and mechanical work was required to marry the two buildings together through this atrium.
With use of a tower crane and 12-story scaffolding, our subcontractors moved quickly to install the atrium wall and two-story main lobby space. The flawless installation gives the feeling as if the façade is not interrupting the interior space from the exterior. The decorative exterior curtain wall adds another dimension to the building’s façade that is replicated in various aspects of the lobby. In order to avoid disruption, our teams coordinated closely with one another to install the glass in phases, allowing us to accommodate the building’s tenants.
Flooring and Walls - an Italian Experience
Our teams coordinated the installation of high-quality flooring and wall stone with the highest degree of craftsmanship through an extensive, 2-year procurement process. With use of the virtual dry lay process, we fully coordinated the layout prior to cutting slabs. Experiencing the beauty of the walls is akin to standing in the Italian quarry from which the stone was cut.
From material selection through the shop drawing process and installation, our subcontractors provided a wealth of knowledge which ultimately led to a final product that continues to be admired by industry partners today.
To vertically expand the 2000 L Street tower from 8 to 12 stories, we had to demolish the existing 9th story penthouse. The issue? The penthouse was the hub for all of the mechanical equipment that kept the office building running. And the tenants, of course, still required electricity and working elevators. To ensure that the tenants could conduct business as usual, we had to get creative with our approach. This meant coming up with an alternate solution to mechanically supply the building while phasing the removal of the penthouse equipment. Ultimately, we installed temporary mechanical systems – a short-term fix that actually preserved budget until the new penthouse was built.
Typically, massive structural upgrades—like vertical expansions—are conducted on traditional buildings made of reinforced concrete. But 2000 L Street was not a traditional building. Rather, it was built with post-tension concrete slabs and beams. This made the job significantly more complicated because, unlike a hole drilled into reinforced concrete, a hole drilled into post-tension concrete can impact an entire section of the building causing a potentially dangerous situation. To prevent this, we meticulously maintained integrity in the concrete slabs while selectively creating openings for the elevator shafts, mechanical shafts and mechanical risers. In addition, to upgrade the foundation and lateral stability we erected new shear walls through the existing building, further requiring precision demolition of existing post-tension concrete slabs.
Originally built in the ‘60s, the 2000 L Street façade was made of precast and punch windows – an aged look that would’ve clashed with the modern upgrade. To provide a complete transformation, our scope entailed fully removing the existing façade and replacing it with six unique curtain wall systems. Because this was an occupied renovation we used temporary weather resistant partitions that separated tenants from the façade replacement. We broke the job down into quadrants – replacing two-quarters of the façade at any given time. We also coordinated closely with the building management to move tenants back 5’ from the exterior wall and created swing spaces as needed. Constant communication was absolutely critical, as was sticking to the plan we carefully orchestrated during the preconstruction phase.
Our work on the 12-story atrium is in its infancy. When complete, this iconic piece of architecture will connect 2000 L Street to the adjacent 2001 K Street. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, in collaboration with FOX Architects, the atrium is unlike anything that exists in the District. Featuring a 13-story point-support glass wall and skylight, it will set the standard for trophy office buildings in the region. But before we get ahead of ourselves, significant structural and mechanical work is required to marry the two buildings through this atrium. It’s no small order, but our work thus far has prepared us for anything.
Photos by Rick McCleary