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.