Awards of Excellence 2018
Davis, Carter, Scott Ltd
International Food Policy Institute New Headquarters

International Food Policy Institute New Headquarters
Award of Excellence
Best Interiors Over 75,000SF

Project Team

International Food Policy Institute - (Owner)
Davis, Carter, Scott Ltd - (Architect)
Regency Commercial Construction - (General Contractor)
Ezra - (Broker)
KGO - (Project Management)

Executive Summary

began with the mission. Before the interesting dual-circulation paths were developed; before the organic-inspired design was conceptualized; there was IFPRI’s life-saving mission to create short- and long-term sustainable solutions to end poverty and hunger in developing nations. Every aspect of the new 100,000 sf headquarters design was created to translate that mission into tangible architectural and design elements which communicate the essence of the organization’s essential work.

A decade of spot-renovation and Band-Aid-approach expansions to the former headquarters provided an opportunity to re-examine how the organization worked both internally among diverse work groups, and externally with Capitol Hill, policy makers, and other NGOs and non-profit partners. A comprehensive Workplace Analysis was completed by a third-party firm prior to engaging the design team. Working closely with the Analysis Team to incorporate the assessment findings – including the desire for a more open, connected work environment and more efficient standards -- was a satisfying collaboration which resulted in a Best-Practices workplace.

Three distinct offices with dissimilar work cultures consolidated into the new headquarters space. From the Workplace Analysis and subsequent programming performed by the design team, activity and noise disruption was the biggest staff concern. As a humanitarian and environmental Think Tank, much of the staff’s daily work involves research, writing, and analysis. However, prior to the new design, large perimeter offices frequently sat empty as senior staff traveled the world. IFPRI’s goal was to create a more efficient, open, and connected workplace. The design team addressed the disruption concern by creating an “inner” and “outer” circulation loop, on which all public spaces were designed on the inner loop, and private work spaces are positioned on the outer. By keeping traffic for the public spaces - including a 6,000 sf conference center with multiple break-out areas and adjoining event space -- separated from paths of travel in the private work areas, activity and noise are highly controlled. A VIP “Green Room” was also designed in the public area for prominent guests and speakers such as Hillary Clinton.

The building shape -- with hard angles and saw-teeth corners -- created a major challenge in both planning and design. The design team softened the sharp angles by creating a curved, fluid plan which connects all individual areas and creates movement and space continuity. The curved plan also largely increased efficiency and addressed critical programming requirements. Some building columns were removed to improve site-lines throughout the space. The curved space plan inspired the soft, organic curves of the architecture, specifically in the reception, conference center and break-out spaces, and large staff kitchen. The fluid, organic feel of the design supports IFPRI’s prominent brand accentuating planting, water, soil and harvest.

Macro and micro branding elements are incorporated throughout the design, including a large metal installation of IFPRI’s logo in the reception area; unique, curved ceiling features; paint colors replicating sun, earth and planting; and carpet selections incorporating organic textures and colors inspired by nature. Finish selections include warm golden tones symbolic of harvest. Access to natural daylight and outdoor views is also a prominent design feature throughout the entire space.

Connectivity is created through the space plan as well as the creation of community areas such as the large, multifunctional lunchroom. In support of IFPRI’s theme of no demographic or ethnic borders, the lunchroom is without doors, and simply flows into the space around it. The lunchroom is positioned on the window-line and is designed for eating, connecting with co-workers, and as a means to share in the organization’s mission through A/V connection to the conference center during presentations and seminars.

At every turn throughout the new headquarters, staff and guests alike are reminded of IFPRI’s purpose to fight poverty and hunger throughout the world. The design began with the mission, and it ends in creating a space which supports every aspect of that vocation and people it serves.

International Food Policy Institute New Headquarters


Signature Sponsor:
Clark Construction Company

Platinum Sponsors:
Brandywine Realty Trust  |   Glass Jacobson  |   The Tower Companies  |   Trammell Crow Company  |   Whiting-Turner

Gold Sponsors:
Akridge  |   Altus Group  |   The Bernstein Companies  |   Bohler Engineering  |   Brookfield  |   CBRE  |   The Chevy Chase Land Company  |   Chicago Title Insurance Company  |   Coakley Williams Construction  |   Cooper Carry  |   Danak  |   EDG2  |   Grosvenor  |   Grunley  |   JBG Smith  |   LCOR  |   Linowes & Blocher LLP  |   MetLife  |   National Building Museum  |   Penzance  |   Powers Brown Architecture  |   RCM&D  |   The RMR Group  |   Ruppert Properties  |   Transwestern  |   US Bank  |   Washington Gas  |   Washington Property Company