Page C2.2 . 03 September 2003                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
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QUIZ

150 Years of SmithGroup

continued

Looking Ahead

While King is the firm's principal designer, Roehling is the strategist, developing markets overseas and in sustainable design. He says: "It's really not so important we're 150 years old. What's truly important (to our clients) is that we've adapted a culture of sustainable design within our firm we are long-term thinkers."

Roehling continues: "While in the past we've certainly examined the life cycle costs of our buildings, today we are working with our clients to look far beyond a building's initial owner. We're looking 50, 100 years in the future. Our designs reflect our concern and sensitivity about the environment."

As the SmithGroup projects forward into the next 150 years, the strong design team assembled through relatively recent mergers with boutique firms will continue to draw on the firm's deeper history of listening to clients and meeting their needs and budgets.

Discovery Communications is the linchpin of the revival of downtown Silver Spring, a suburb of Washington. Its difficult site was sloped and faced two major traffic routes. King's design turned the slope to advantage, making the low point the garage entrance. He also provided each elevation with distinctive detailing while still integrating each into a varied, visually pleasing complex.

The National Academies Building, which houses the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council, is infill built between and over historic buildings.

King created an inviting central atrium, attractive, well scaled corridors and offices, and numerous formal and informal conference spaces in deference to the collaborative nature of the academies' work. King also acknowledged the historic context through a rhythm of voids and projections in the facades.

William Lebovich is an architectural historian and photographer from Chevy Chase, Maryland who photographs new projects for architects and developers and documents properties of historical, architectural, engineering, or industrial significance throughout the continental United States.

 

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Recently designed by SmithGroup, the National Academies Building in Washington D.C. is infill built between and over historic buildings.
Photo: Prakash Patel

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The National Academies Building acknowledges its historic context through a rhythm of voids and projections in the facades.
Photo: William Lebovich

ArchWeek Image

Atrium of the National Academies Building.
Photo: Prakash Patel

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Stair and skylight in the National Academies Building.
Photo: Prakash Patel

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A small conference room for collaborative work in the National Academies Building.
Photo: Prakash Patel

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Currently in design, Visteon Village will be the corporate headquarters of an automotive supplier.
Image: SmithGroup

 

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