Awards of Excellence 2021
Carr Properties
Signal House by Carr Properties

Signal House by Carr Properties
Award of Excellence
Best DC Urban Office: Over 150,000 SF

Project Team

Carr Properties - (Owner + Developer)
Gensler - (Architect)
John Moriarty Associates - (General Contractor)
Avison Young - (Broker)
Carr Properties - (Project Management)
EditLab by Streetsense

Project Description

Signal House is a game-changer for the office category in the Washington, DC market and nationally– a building designed from inception to embrace a hospitality approach and deliver a personality filled amenity experience.

Since 1885, Union Market has been a hub of reinvention and community conversation in Washington, DC. And on a neighborhood street named after a great American inventor and artist, Signal House is reinventing work experience for the next generation.

As a destination for local and artisan food, drinks, and goods, Union Market has catalyzed new development in Northeast DC, with four million square feet of residential and retail development. Carr Properties and Gensler captured this momentum with a vision for a creative office building that takes advantage of its location in the marketplace, and perhaps most importantly, accentuates the local area from within the office to add to the neighborhood’s character.

Unlike any another office building in the city, Signal House is a contemporary reinvention of an industrial building design that references the merchant quality of the neighborhood. The deconstruction of the typical DC glass box office exposes and celebrates the skeletal framework of the structure. Columns gilded with terra cotta-like tiling and concrete slabs are highlighted and visible behind the oversized glazing. Alternating double-height corner terraces, adorned with soffit art by local artist Cita Sadeli, and panoramic views of the Capitol, give each floor a unique connection to the outdoors while creating varied experiences on each side of the building. An offset core puts people in the center and offers more open and flexible spaces.

The lobby is a mix of raw and refined touches, with a concrete shell and handmade zellige tile, creating a backdrop for gently curved booths and banquettes, a tapestry-paneled concierge desk, and a palm chandelier. As the crossroads of the building, retail spaces on either end connect through oversized pairs of steel and ribbed glass doors, capturing overflow energy and amplifying the options for use and seating.

The fitness center prioritizes natural light and warm touches, framed pegboard and trimmed mirrors anchor the space, while a custom hex tile mosaic leads into the carefully calibrated locker rooms, elegantly choreographed with changing areas integrated into shower stalls. The penthouse of the building was conceived as an amenity space shared between all customers – a built-in coworking area, event space, multipurpose room and conference space, all with a wraparound terrace.

Fully connected to the neighborhood, the ground floor is generously wrapped with retail stitched to the street in folded planes and pushed to the sidewalk edge, distinguishing itself from the office program above. This prime retail space moves past the office perimeter and on to the streets, welcoming the sidewalk traffic with folding doors. The pedestrian experience is incorporated into the design with a convivial lobby and dedicated bike room. Inspired by its location on Morse Street, the brand positioning of Signal House references the inventor/artist Samuel B. Morse and signifies building that is gutsy and hands-on with a pioneering design that lets customers express their individuality.

Clark Construction Company Brandywine Realty Trust Glass Jacobson The Tower Companies Trammell Crow Company Trammell Crow Company

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