The spacious and airy reception area of LMI's headquarters.
A steel stairway with reclaimed-teak treads is bordered by eye-catching amber acrylic panels.
A wide teak staircase connects the lower-level reception area and the first floor.
The reception area offers space to gather.
The stairway leads to the next five floors of the building.

Office Space

The new Tysons Corner home of consulting firm LMI

The new Tysons Corner home of consulting firm LMI makes an immediate statement. Designed by Gensler, the 165,000-square-foot, LEED Gold-certified building takes its cues from its wooded surroundings; visitors enter via a landscaped courtyard complete with a water feature. Inside, the airy reception area boasts soaring, 25-foot ceilings. “We wanted a two-story wow,” explains John McKinney, who spearheaded the design of the interiors.

LMI, which handles government-management issues, requested an open, light-filled workplace that embraces collaboration and innovation. McKinney and his team designed a wide teak staircase connecting the lower level and the first floor, which together house a business center and reception area. An eye-catching steel stairway (pictured) leads to the next five floors of the building, where day-to-day operations take place.

This unusual staircase is the building’s focal point. With reclaimed-teak treads and glass handrails, it is bordered on one side by Sensitile Systems’ amber acrylic panels containing a pattern of mirrored flecks side-lit by LED lights that make them glow. “The idea was to connect every floor and make people want to take the stairs,” McKinney says. Because LMI is heavily research-oriented, the designers used a study the firm had done on gas and liquid as the inspiration for the mirrored motif, duplicating what McKinney calls “a pattern of swirling eddies” that they found on a printout.

Evidently, the team’s vision and creativity paid off: The project received a 2015 Interior Design merit award from the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter.

INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE: LISA AMSTER, AIA, project principal, and JOHN McKINNEY, IIDA, design director, Gensler, Washington, DC. CONTRACTOR: HITT Contracting, Inc., Falls Church, Virginia. PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL MORAN.