DC Water Headquarters Washington, DC


The site design for the DC Water Headquarters Building is based on a water theme. Responding to the Raindrop building and to the Anacostia River, it features a minimalist aesthetic and organic forms.

Water appears and reappears throughout the site. On Canal Street, road run-off is picked up by curb openings and handled through several measures, including: standard DDOT tree boxes with stormwater management structures, bioretention areas, and runnels in the sidewalk covered by decorative grates. All three measures provide visible stormwater treatments.

A pedestrian-focused plaza east of the headquarters building provides a public space that also allows access for service vehicles to reach flood gates and other facilities. Pervious pavers are patterned to indicate rainfall amounts in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and the plaza is sliced with a sweeping curve of a water runnel, which continues to carry run-off to additional management facilities. A reflecting pool to the south of the Raindrop building creates a play of light and shadow on the curved façade. The pool would be fed by condensate and/or roof run-off. Overflow will go to the layered bioretention areas to the south. These tiers feature large masses of native bioretention planting. Roof and plaza runoff will be slowed, filtered and re-used in successive layers of bioretention tiers that descend toward the river.

DC Water

Project Manager
Sharon Bradley

Image Credit
HOK Architects