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Union Station

Washington, D.C.

The revitalization of Union Station centered on its return to the primary purpose of a train station, made more vital and viable by the integration of substantial retail space, restaurants, and other public commercial activities.  The vocabulary of details and materials developed for this revitalization relies upon understatement and neutrality, to permit the blending of new structures and surfaces, without mimicry, into an harmonious relationship with the station’s original fabric.

 

The Main Hall, with its ornamental ceiling once more highlighted  in gold  leaf, remains primarily open to allow direct passage to the  Amtrak  ticket  counters and the trains beyond. At the center of the hall a two-level oval kiosk provides information and services, with a cafe on top.  Surrounding the Main Hall are restaurants and banquet facilities.

 

The station’s other  monumental public spaces are used while humanizing the scale of the interior.  The Concourse, a vast space of hangar-like dimensions, has been  modulated by the insertion of a retail mezzanine.  Sweeping grand staircases facilitate passage up to the  mezzanine, as well as below, which gives access to Washington’s Metro system.  Much of the Metro Level is space “discovered”, some of it in partially unexcavated areas, and brought into use, thus helping to double the building’s gross leasable area to 210,000 s.f.. A food bazaar and multi-screen cinema complex are located in this newly expanded area.

 

Program:

Master Plan and adaptive reuse creating retail shops, restaurants, food hall, multi-cinema, interior architecture for retail facades, furnishings, landlord graphics, and tenant design guidelines.

 

Client:

Union Station Venture, Ltd.

 

Completion:

1988

mixed-use/urban design

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