Photo by Timothy Hursley
Best Retail/Mixed-Use Development: Square 54

Square 54

Washington, D.C.  Region ENR New York

Project Team

Developer Boston Properties, Washington, D.C.

Executive Architect Hickok Cole Architects, Washington, D.C.

Lead Designer Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New Haven, Conn.

General Contractor/Construction Manager Clark Construction Group, Bethesda, Md.

Structural Engineer Thornton Tomasetti, Washington, D.C.

MEP Engineer TOLK Inc., Fairfax, Va.

Consuming an entire city block and including as many as five radii at different parts of the building's perimeter and courtyard, the $162-million Square 54 mixed-use project posed several challenges for the project team. These hurdles included limited staging at and access to the site, located on the George Washington University campus adjacent to a hospital and above subway tunnels.

The project included a five-level, below-ground parking deck for 1,062 vehicles; a 10-story commercial office building with ground-level retail space; and two 12-story residential towers with 335 apartment units. A three-story lobby features structural glass walls that are point- supported by a structural-steel rod system. Concrete work required nearly 550,000 linear ft of post-tensioning cables for the radial slab edges located on three sides of the building. On track to receive LEED-Gold certification, Square 54 features several eco-friendly design elements—a condensate water fountain and irrigation system in the courtyard, among others. The office building is capped by a green roof filled with plants and foliage watered by rainfall.

One of the judges called "impressive" the team's handling of logistics and safety in a highly congested area.

During its 33 months of construction with more than 1.3 million hours worked, the project had an OSHA incident rate of 4.51, a factor that another judge called "remarkable," adding, "That had to be about the best record in the bunch."