CORE architecture + design

CORE architecture + design

Washington, DC


Gould Property Company and Oxford Properties Group Complete 600 Massachusetts Avenue

Feb 9, '18 1:23 PM EST
600 Massachusetts Avenue by CORE. Credit: Maxwell MacKenzie
600 Massachusetts Avenue by CORE. Credit: Maxwell MacKenzie

CORE designs Janus-like, 400 K SF LEED Platinum office building that connects modern glass design with DC’s historic brick architecture and nearby Chinatown

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 12, 2017)—Gould Property Company (Gould) and Oxford Properties Group have completed their 400,000 square foot office building at 600 Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington, DC. The building is designed to meet LEED Platinum requirements. Gould worked with the architects at CORE architecture + design (CORE), a local award-winning design firm, to create a project that combines highly-efficient floor planning, clean aesthetics, forward-thinking amenities and green spaces that blur the line between indoors and outdoors. CORE just launched a digital tour of the project, providing insights into the building features and the firm’s design approach:

600 Massachusetts opened in December 2016. Its interiors were completed in 2017. Tenants now include Venable, Haworth, Brunswick, Oxford Properties Group, and Farmers and Distillers.

“With the vastly different building requirements that govern the Massachusetts Avenue and historic Eye Street sides of this building, we purposefully developed a design that has a Janus-like quality to it,” said CORE principal I. Guy Martin, AIA.

Starting as an 11-story glass office tower facing Massachusetts Avenue, the building cascades down towards Eye Street in a series of landscaped terraces that end in a brick facade that reinforce the adjacent historic structures. The landscaped terraces not only provide outdoor space for the adjacent office spaces but also contribute to the building’s LEED Platinum rating. The building has many high-end amenities including a fitness center, bicycle locker room, multi-use conference facilities, and a rooftop living room.

“Guy first drew the design sketches of this project for Kingdon Gould in 1981 – and I’ve been working with him on it since 1999 – so it’s immensely gratifying for us both to see the project build in a way that maintains Kingdon’s original vision,” said CORE lead designer Ron Ngiam.

The project’s design was subject to review by the Historic Preservation Review Board, the District of Columbia’s Office of Planning, and the Chinatown Review Board. The City Council also had approved an alley closing. As well as being in located near or in multiple historic districts, the site also has a complex geometry resulting from the L’Enfant plan’s angled avenues laid over a rectangular grid – Massachusetts Avenue is at an acute angle to Eye Street. The design takes advantage of this geometry to create a prominent corner element with views east down Massachusetts Avenue towards the Capitol.

“We’ve been committed to 600 Mass earning a LEED Platinum rating for a long time,” said Martin. “At CORE, we instinctively infuse sustainable design into every project so it’s good to have Gould and Oxford focused on that same goal.”

To earn a LEED Platinum rating with the U.S. Green Building Council, the 600 Mass team addressed a spectrum of issues relating to sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design and regional priority. The building’s numerous sustainable, integrated design elements include:

  • The integrated design of the building envelope and mechanical system to ensure that the project will be energy efficient;
  • Water-efficient landscaping and technologies, including the ability to capture and reuse 100% of rainwater, to minimize water use in the building, and substantially reduce water discharge from the building;
  • A comprehensive recycling and waste management program to reduce landfill waste;
  • Clean, filtered air to provide the highest indoor air quality to every floor; and
  • Sourcing building materials and hiring a local construction team to reduce carbon emissions related to both transportation and ongoing energy consumption.

Five of 600 Mass’ 11 floors feature innovative design roof terraces, designed by award-winning landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), which offer sophisticated, indoor/outdoor conference areas. “There are no other office buildings in Washington with the amount and quality of green space that 600 Mass has,” said Ngiam. “When Spring growth begins, the outdoor areas at 600 Mass – and especially the rooftop lounge – will be spectacular.”

“Guy and the CORE team have collaborated with us, taken advantage of this unique site and made 600 Mass into a truly unique building,” said Kingdon Gould III. “This project has evolved and grown over time and without CORE’s commitment to our vision – and deep architectural knowledge and creativity – we would not be creating such a landmark building.”

In addition to CORE (Project Architect), Gould worked with: Clark Construction (General Contractor), SK&A Structural Engineers (Structural Design), Girard Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing), GGN (Landscape Design), Sustainable Design Consulting (LEED Design), Wiles Mensch (Civil), George Sexton Associates (Lighting), Polysonics (Acoustic), VDA (Elevators) and Jensen Hughes (Code compliance). 

About CORE architecture + design

Under the leadership of Principals Dale Stewart, Guy Martin, Allison Cooke, and David Cheney,  CORE thrives on complex projects and leads with experience, understanding that their best work comes from designing hand in hand with their clients. Bringing a spirit of exploration to each project, CORE believes that design has the power to shape experiences. Visit and follow COREdc on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn.