Crystal Castle

At $830 per square foot, this LEED-Gold office tower designed by Helmut Jahn is the second most expensive piece of commercial real estate ever to be sold in Washington DC.  Located at 1999 K Street, the building may seem underwhelming at a distance.  However the uniquely expressed curtain wall is a cleanly detailed system that delivers a completely original experience.  Each curtain panel is buttressed by a vertical fin of glass projecting from the flat surface of the building.  The functional directive of the fins is to provide wind-load support, but their sculptural quality is what makes them so exciting.  From a vantage point on the adjacent sidewalk, the fins create a mosaic effect of angular geometric transparency.   The result is very subtle, and likely missed by the majority of passers by.  But it is exactly this understated simplicity that leads to a profoundly graceful power.  The close-up photos of the wall are worth clicking on.  The lobby at night is also a vivid space.

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3 Responses to “Crystal Castle”

  1. Katie Says:

    Ha! I drive by that building at least once a week and have never noticed all of its details! Thanks for pointing them out!

  2. Oscar Says:

    Great photos! The lobby looks interesting..

  3. Katya Says:

    I love the the third shot of the windows and the portioning in the last picture.

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