The Association of American Medical Colleges is a non-profit organization that represents medical schools, teaching hospitals and academic and scientific societies, and also administers the MCAT exam. STUDIOS was retained to be the interior architect of their new 265,000 SF build-to-suit headquarters on a prominent site at 655 K Street NW in Washington, DC. It was AAMC’s goal to have their new headquarters be designed from the inside-out with the program driving the architecture. Having previously been housed in a very divided and cellular workplace environment in two separate buildings, it was very important that their consolidated space – with a staff count projected to increase from 750 to to more than 900 employees – create a dynamic experience that enables a new collaborative model of working; one that promotes health by encouraging staff to move throughout the building, and facilitates interaction between AAMC staff and AAMC’s constituency.
AAMC represents a large constituency whom they entertain daily through meetings, seminars and receptions. STUDIOS designed the Learning Center to allow all constituent activities to take place within the headquarters where staff can easily engage with members. The Learning Center includes a two-story, elliptical Multipurpose Room that is expressed on the North exterior of the building and allows for meetings of more than 200 people within the narrow triangular building. In addition to conference rooms, the Learning Center also includes informal breakout areas, food service spaces, and a Members’ Lounge located within one of the historic building preserved on the site and connected to the new building.
STUDIOS collaborated with the base building architect to maximize the efficiency of the floor plates and workspaces. Careful study and planning of the core-to-perimeter distance and column spacing allows for interior offices and perimeter workstations that make the best use of interior floor space. STUDIOS optimized the offices to a size of 7’-6” wide by 12’-0” deep to encourage staff to get out of their offices and utilize all parts of the workspace. A custom furniture solution was developed for the offices to maximize storage and desk space while making the offices feel more spacious than their dimensions would suggest.
In order to create a dynamic work environment, STUDIOS distributed AAMC’s rich program throughout the 11-story building. The Learning Center is easily accessible on the 2nd and 3rd floors, with the upper floors occupied as workspace and a variety of meeting rooms, team rooms, and social hubs. STUDIOS reserved the best space in the building (and also the best views) for use by all staff, locating the café on the 11th floor with direct connection via staircase to the rooftop terrace. Interconnecting stairs were incorporated to link all floors and to enable staff to easily move between floors while promoting an active and healthy work environment.