Lafarge And National Building Museum To Spotlight The Landmark Mixed-Use CityCenterDC Development

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

Lafarge North America and the National Building Museum announce that this year's sixth "Spotlight on Design" lecture will be held on Thursday, July 25. The lecture will feature lead members of the development team for the massive mixed-use CityCenterDC neighborhood, which is taking shape in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Encompassing 10 acres on a 4.5-block parcel, CityCenterDC will be a 2.5-million square-foot urban neighborhood enlivened with a mix of condominiums, apartments, offices, public spaces, a hotel, restaurants and shops. Phases I and II of the project will contain more than 270,000 square feet of retail space situated at the base of seven buildings that encompass 520,000 square feet of office space, 458 rental apartment units, 216 condominium units, a 370-room luxury hotel, a public park, a central plaza, and pedestrian-friendly streets and alleyways.

Phase I commenced in March 2011 and it is anticipated that two office buildings, two apartment buildings and two condominium buildings will be ready to accept occupants during the fourth quarter 2013. Phase II is expected to commence in the first half of 2014 and will include the luxury hotel and 73,000 square feet of additional retail space. The entire development has been accepted into the pilot program for LEED® Neighborhood Development and is expected to receive Gold certification. The office buildings have received LEED pre-certification at the Gold level. The residential buildings are targeting a LEED Silver rating.

Spotlight on Design is an ongoing lecture series that features architects and designers of distinction from around the world. Since its inception in 1997, the series has hosted many of the world's premier design voices in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and design, including Pritzker Prize Laureates Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, I. M. Pei, Glenn Murcutt and other acclaimed designers. Lafarge has been the corporate sponsor of Spotlight on Design since 2001.

Panelists for the upcoming program include William B. Alsup, III, senior managing director at Hines and senior project officer for CityCenterDC; Armstrong Yakubu, partner at London-based architecture, design and planning firm Foster + Partners; and Shalom Baranes, FAIA, principal of Washington, D.C.–based architectural firm Shalom Baranes Associates. Hines and Archstone led the development team of the $700-million CityCenterDC project. Foster + Partners and Shalom Baranes Associates served as master-plan architects. Foster + Partners also designed the office and residential condominium buildings. Shalom Baranes Associates is the project's Architect of Record and the lead designer of the residential rental buildings.

"From building techniques and construction materials to infrastructure and high-performance technologies, the development of CityCenterDC will be a model for building more compact, durable, beautiful and connected cities," said John Stull, president and CEO of Lafarge U.S. "We look forward to welcoming this exemplary development team to the National Building Museum and learning more about their visionary approach in urban design and architecture for creating more sustainable mixed-use neighborhoods and enhanced urban environments."

The July 25 panel discussion is scheduled from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will be moderated by G. Martin Moeller, Jr., senior curator at the National Building Museum. During the program, the panelists will discuss the multilayered approach that makes complex building projects possible, focusing on the master-planning and design process. To attend the event, register online from the NBM's registration page.

During the past several years, more than 30,000 people have attended lectures through the Spotlight on Design series with audiences ranging from professionals, policymakers and students to the general public. The series also provides a great opportunity for design professionals to achieve continuing education training through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education System (CES). For those not local to Washington, D.C., the lecture series and interviews with individual architects dating back to 2006 can be accessed online by visiting the National Building Museum's website at

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