The Mills Building

Congratulations to Mahan Rykiel Associates on their Merit Award in the Design-Built Category for The Mills Building in Washington, DC.

This project involves the renovation of an 11-story office building constructed in 1966 at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue. The landscape architect led the design of the Penthouse terrace with its commanding views across the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Potomac River. These became the source of inspiration for the terrace’s design.

Maximizing the flexibility of the space was a top priority for the project, catering both to individual needs and larger events. Moveable furniture and removable shade structures contribute to the space’s flexibility.

Materials, such as granite, porcelain, wood, and carefully selected plants, seamlessly work together. The result is an organic and integrated design that evokes a sense of tranquility and calmness.

Plant selection prioritized species with contrasting leaf textures, layering them in swaths that follow the undulation along the terrace path and walls, accentuating organic connections between spaces. For the custom walls and benches, the team developed 3D modeling and practical mock-ups, to reveal and work through issues, and to clearly communicate the intent of their design.