Designing upgrades to the existing penthouse and rooftop terrace at 800 17th St. NW in downtown Washington, DC required balancing the building owners’ requests while also abiding by strict requirements enforced by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts due to the building’s proximity to the White House. The original penthouse elevator lobby felt like a forgotten space with concrete block walls, poor lighting and dark finishes. The existing 3,300 sf rooftop terrace similarly suffered a lackluster aesthetic, with outdated concrete pavers and minimal furniture.
GTM focused on increasing the space’s functionality and creating a more inviting environment with new furniture, finishes and dramatic landscaping. The old concrete pavers were replaced with a new composite decking and pedestal system that satisfied the client’s wish for a wood deck appearance and warmed up the overall aesthetic of the space, while also providing easier maintenance and increased longevity. A new, built-in millwork structure was also designed that could withstand the challenging outdoor elements and allowed for integrated seating, a TV, and wet-bar including a sink and kegerator.
The updated interior elevator lobby includes high contrast paint and wallcoverings to brighten and modernize the space, acrylic-infused wood flooring for high-traffic durability, and new furniture with a pop of color to create interest and provide seating. The space was also upgraded with a new catering kitchen, offering indoor storage and a prep area. Outdoors on the upgraded rooftop terrace, living green wall panels add beauty while being self-maintained by a watering system and recessed accent lighting. New furniture provides a variety of seating areas and gas fire-pits, while custom 48” square LED pendant fixtures light each seating area under the existing trellis. Fresh landscaping throughout the space, from the large planters to the verdant green walls, finishes the design and ties the new rooftop amenities together.