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  • Affordable Senior Housing, Townhouses and Condos: The 7 Proposals for DC’s Hebrew Home

    5.26.17

    Read the article on dc.urbanturf.com.

  • How Two Of DC's Recent Law Firm Movers Are Adapting To Their New Offices
  • Reader’s Choices: Allison C. Cooke
  • Best Real Estate Deals of 2016: 600 Massachusetts Avenue NW
  • Adams Morgan Alley Garage to be Converted into Office Space
  • CORE “Tap Takeover” at Cotton & Reed Raising Money For D.C. Central Kitchen

    4.1.17

    Read the article at thelistareyouonit.com.

  • Inside Lukas B. Smith’s Growing Cocktail Empire in D.C.: The latest at Addendum, Le DeSales, Cotton & Reed

    3.24.17

    Read the article at dc.eater.com.

  • West End ANC: It’s More About Excitement

    3.8.17

    Read the article at georgetowner.com.

  • DC’s New Beaux-Arts Coffee Shop
  • Swing’s Coffee Opens Elegant New Bar in Downtown DC
  • CORE-Designed Swing’s Coffee Roasters Now Open in Downtown DC

    2.13.17

    For Immediate Release

    CORE-Designed Swing’s Coffee Roasters Now Open in Downtown DC

    Swing’s third location maximizes customer experience with layout and function that hide behind Beaux-Arts style

    WASHINGTON (February 13, 2017)—CORE architecture + design, inc. (CORE) has just completed Swing’s Coffee Roasters (Swing’s) newest café in Washington, DC. As with the other Swing’s coffee bars in Foggy Bottom and Del Ray (Alexandria), this location reflects the neighborhood aesthetic. The 1,345 SF café, located at 640 14th Street, NW between McPherson Square and Metro Center, has an optimized layout and function that cleverly hides behind design that echoes the majestic Beaux-Arts building that surrounds it.

    “Swing’s owner Mark Warmuth likes his cafés to reflect the neighborhood around them, rather than having just one ‘Swing’s’ look,” said CORE’s partner Allison Cooke. “We took design inspiration from the decorative Beaux-Arts building nearby but more importantly, we were able to maximize the customer experience by optimizing barista workflow and filling the space with hidden function and storage.”

    As customers enter Swing’s from the courtyard of the Metropolitan Square Building, the 25-foot coffee counter – with its point of sale, gleaming pastry display, and pour over and espresso stations – lures them inside. The back bar coffee counter, reminiscent of old soda shop or pharmacy apothecary shelving displays, is a grand walnut wood display piece brightened with antique glass and brushed brass accents. What customers don’t see is that the back bar encases the taller equipment, dishwashing and coffee warmers while providing extra open and concealed storage. Hotel entry lighting inspired the marquee lighting in the back bar’s cornice.

    “We considered what customers see (and don’t want to see) when they enter Swing’s, as well as what baristas need to serve guests quickly and efficiently,” said project designer Hilary Miners. “Throughout the project, we were mindful of creating a beautiful customer experience while responding to the functional needs of the barista.”

    The finish colors are inspired by the cranberry red of the Swing’s logo, rich walnut wood tones similar to roasted beans, and warm taupe browns found in milky lattes and thatched burlap coffee bean storage bags. The cranberry-red accents repeat in the millwork displays and the banquette details, as well as in a single painted pinstripe that separates the taupe band of paint color from the white above. To keep the design classic and clean, black and white applications provide a backdrop to the other tones.

    “The back counter display and hexagonal tile floor mosaic are my favorite elements in the space,” continued Miners. “The diamond-shaped pattern with white and cranberry accents is a nod to the decorative details found in the neighborhood – and we designed and fabricated it specifically for the Swing’s space. You’ll see a similar diamond pattern in the tin ceiling and trim above it. The original Swing’s logo also included five-point stars so the shape inspired our use of geometric triangular patterns.”

    Most countertops are a solid-surface product resembling white Carrera marble. However, to highlight the espresso stations and points of interaction with baristas, CORE used black quartz with a brushed brass metal accent and specialty accent tile below. This marble tile is the only polished surface in the space, and has brown, tan, and white veining resembling the frothy swirl of a latte. A decorative brass accent separates every third course. Having these espresso areas at bar height with a metal foot rail provides a standing ledge for guests to lean on and have their drinks while providing a counter experience similar to a soda shop or diner.

    In the non-espresso portions of the coffee bar, CORE used vertically-oriented walnut tambour with the white stone to represent points of transaction or drink pass off. This wood application, traditionally found in early 20th century roll-top desks, provides nostalgia, while hugging the round-edged corners of the bar to soften the space and ease the flow of guests as they queue.

    There are two different seating areas: a bar height counter along the courtyard storefront, and a banquette with loose tables anchored between millwork displays. No seating is placed in front of the window along 14th Street to give passersby a full view of the shop’s architecture, illumination and activity. The window counter seats face towards the courtyard to guide guests to the front door. The moss-green banquette with cranberry-red piping has a channel-tufted back with the seams rotated every 10 degrees to create a triangular-shaped pattern. Two large millwork pieces (in a same style as the back bar) flank this seating nook, with loose circular tables and chairs across from it. Both pieces provide additional closed storage, open shelving for display and a decorative bulletin board highlighting product origin, and events. The windows that front 14th Street, like many restaurants on the block, use delicate gold-leaf signage to maintain the graphic rhythm of the street.

    “CORE was a true partner on this project – they listened to our need for function and design and interpreted it into a beautiful and inspired space,” said M.E. Swing Company owner Mark Warmuth. “Swing’s has been part of DC’s coffee culture since 1916, and we are proud that this location’s Beaux-Arts inspired design reflects that heritage.”

    CORE worked with Infinity Building Services (General Contractor), Karnik Gregorian Engineering, Inc. (MEP), and Seth Design Group (Graphics) to complete Swing’s Coffee Roasters at 14th Street. It opened its doors in February 2017.

    About CORE architecture + design, inc.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE architecture + design, inc. (CORE) has designed more than 60 restaurants in locations across the U.S. with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Garces Group, Think Food Group, Centrolina, CopyCat Co., Del Campo, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

    About Swing’s Coffee Roasters

    Swing’s Coffee Roasters has been part of the Washington, DC coffee culture for over 100 years. Swing’s passionate customers have literally traveled the world with our beans in tow, sharing our coffee with others, and relating tales of “this obscure coffee roaster in DC.” That level of devotion has kept the roasters running since 1916. At Swing’s Coffee Roasters, we roast ethically-sourced coffees with artisan efforts developed over generations. We care about the journey coffee takes and the people it comes in contact with along the way, understanding that remarkable coffee is the end result of many. It is imperative that our cafes remain an integral part of our community. Swing’s offers a friendly meeting place that customers can depend on for the highest quality of coffee products, and an environment that inspires and promotes coffee education for both customers and employees. We continue to pursue and adhere to best practices in coffee, in order to deliver substantive and sustainable quality. Our commitment is to continually exceed expectations for our customers, employees and our community.

     

    For more information contact:

    Samantha Edwards at CORE

    202-466-6116

    sae@coredc.com

  • Sneak Peek of Swing’s Coffee
  • Looking Ahead with Allison Cooke
  • The rd+d awards: Buena Onda wins in two categories

    1.17.17

    Buena Onda wins the Best New Concept Launch Award and the Best Limited-Service Restaurant Design Award.

    Read the full article at rd+d magazine.

    See this project in our portfolio.

  • How Restaurants Offer Full Experiences in Seriously Tiny Spaces
  • Development + design pros on the go - December
  • CORE Promotes David Cheney and Allison C. Cooke to Partners
  • With new partners, Core architecture looks to the next generation for leadership
  • Check out some of D.C.’s coolest restaurant designs of 2016
  • CORE developed, built first East-Coast prototype to combine Marriott F&B On Demand and Fresh Bites initiatives

    10.19.16

    For Immediate Release

    CORE developed, built first East-Coast prototype to combine Marriott F&B On Demand and Fresh Bites initiatives

     Washington Marriott Wardman Park offers guests expanded quick dining and food delivery from its new Woodley Park Pantry

    WASHINGTON (October 19, 2016)—Guests at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park (Marriott Wardman Park) don’t have to venture too far thanks to the hotel’s new 1,200 SF Woodley Park Pantry (Pantry). Marriott/JBG chose DC-based architecture/design firm CORE to develop a clean, timeless design to complement the “Marriott Modern” initiative. Formerly the lobby coffee shop, the Pantry was designed to integrate the Marriott Food & Beverage (F&B) On Demand Initiative with the Fresh Bites food delivery program.

     CORE worked with Marriott to develop a design prototype concept and overall initiative strategy that would address evolving guest demographics and increase F&B sales across the brand. The Pantry initiative was developed to supplement and leverage existing F&B operations by offering guests additional options for quick dining and food delivery within the hotel. As part of this initiative, the Woodley Park Pantry is one of the first full-size Pantries built on the East Coast and CORE’s first completed project for the initiative. It also serves as a showpiece for Marriott, as it is the closest Pantry to Marriott’s headquarters in Bethesda.

     “It is incredibly exciting to see the conceptual prototype realized in such a high-profile Marriott hotel,” said CORE’s Director of Hospitality Design Allison Cooke. “We’re excited to see this concept rolled out nationwide as Marriott continues to adapt to and inspire the evolving traveler’s experience.”

    The design was developed based on the ‘Marriott Modern’ initiative, which emphasized clean, timeless, thoughtful design with architectural sensibility. Clean lines and warm, natural materials – such as wood and stone surfaces – were paired with a restful ceramic blue accent tile to allow the bountiful variety and color of the product offerings to stand out and entice guests.

    “We chose warm wood tones both for their aesthetic beauty, and to create a visual link between the Pantry and the larger lobby design,” said Senior Project Designer Daniel C. Chapman. “Rich warm gray porcelain floor tile with textured accents provide nuanced detail, and the vibrant teal wall tile at the Made-To-Order Station really catches the eye.” Given the high guest volume of the Marriott Wardman Park, CORE also took special care to select materials that would wear well while conveying a clean, modern, more residential and restful feeling.

    The Woodley Park Pantry expands the existing coffee service to include a range of food and beverage options. With the Pantry adjacent to the hotel’s main lobby and event spaces, it activates this once under-used corridor by opening up the space with bright, bountiful displays of products and showcasing coffee/espresso service and made-to-order culinary action.

     “It is an excellent study to observe how the Pantry operates and so far and it’s drawing incredible attention from the guests,” added Chapman. “Even at 10:00pm, the Pantry is busy with travelers looking for a quick bite to end their busy day.”

    Lighting and materials were carefully designed to make the Pantry glow like a jewel box within the lobby, as well as to spotlight the many offerings of the Pantry and quickly orient guests. CORE thoughtfully integrated equipment within millwork paneling to present a clean, warm and appetizing look to guests. Retail areas were also built-in to the millwork with cleanness and flexibility, allowing for multiple product display formats and tidy presentation, and enabling guests to build their meals and purchases intuitively. Clear glass mobile partition panels showcase the Pantry even when it is closed.

    “The Woodley Park Pantry is wonderfully convenient for hotel guests and it has expanded yet streamlined the property’s food and beverage operations,” continued Chapman. “Today’s hotel guests want a bright, accessible, fast-casual option, and the Pantry fulfills that need.”

    CORE worked with JBG (Owner), RWG Construction (Project Management), Humphrey Rich (GC), Identity Group (Signage), and Loring Consulting Engineers, Inc. (MEP) to complete the Woodley Park Pantry. It began serving guests in May 2016.

     The Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is located at 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008.

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed more than 55 restaurants in locations across the U.S. with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Garces Group, Think Food Group, Centrolina, CopyCat Co., Del Campo, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Dean & Deluca, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

    For more information contact:

    Daniel C. Chapman at CORE

    202-466-6116

    dcc@coredc.com

  • CORE Completes Work on Del Ray’s New Junction Bakery & Bistro

    10.12.16

    For immediate release

    CORE Completes Work on Del Ray’s New Junction Bakery & Bistro

     Influenced by modest Americana, 1940s style, and the area’s railroad connections, Junction brings freshly baked goods and all-day casual dining to Del Ray

     

    WASHINGTON (October 12, 2016)—Junction Bakery & Bistro, a new all-day bakery and café from restauranteur Noe Landini and chef/baker Nathan Hatfield, has begun to tempt residents of Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood with the fresh breads and pastries baked on-site and incorporated into its mouth-watering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Landini again turned to DC-based architecture/design firm CORE to create an inviting space that uncovers the building’s 1940s character as a grocery store, while connecting to Del Ray’s railroad history. The 5,000 SF space, formerly Mancini’s Café, is located at 1508 Mount Vernon Avenue.

    CORE has worked with Noe Landini on a number of renovation and restoration projects including: the Fish Market and Pop’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream in Alexandria; Bar Deco in downtown Washington, D.C.; and Boston Harbor Distillery in Massachusetts.

    “We loved collaborating with Noe again. He always prioritizes authenticity and the history of the space we are working within. This time, we uncovered the building’s 1940s history and linked design elements to Del Ray’s railway heritage,” said CORE’s Director of Hospitality Design Allison Cooke. “It was important to create an approachable neighborhood spot that blends the warmth of dining at home and the energy of a working bakery.”

    Customers enter straight into the bakery and retail area, where they cannot miss the expansive view to the 4-deck oven that is visible through the large steel and glass wall behind the retail counter. The 50-seat café area, to the left of the retail space, combines banquette seating, and loose casual groupings of marble-topped tables. In the evening, the retail area transitions into a casual happy hour gathering spot.

    Junction’s color palette of navy, red, white – with soft touches of peach and copper – reflects the colors popular in both 1940s residential architecture and fashion. The railroad aesthetic is echoed in the wood planking on the walls, riveted metal panels wrapping the restrooms, oak flooring (in the café) and custom lanterns. CORE selected enameled metals for countertops, red square tiles (on the counter front), encaustic patterned floor tile (in the retail area), hand painted chairs, and china hutches. All of these features were inspired by the spirit of frugality in wartime America in the 1940s.

    “The 1940s era was characterized by its thriftiness, ingenuity, and brightness, so we kept those ideas in mind as we developed the design,” said Cooke. “We really enjoyed creating the custom elements: the locomotive-inspired lanterns, playful mosaic tile messages in the floor, and denim upholstery with a printed grain motif on the banquette.”

    Junction’s exterior includes a striking mural designed by Seth Design Group and completed by Cherry Blossom Creative, branded signage, and the building’s refurbished glass storefront windows. Inside, some of the original plaster walls and tin ceiling have also been restored.

    “Nathan and I both live in Del Ray and loved the idea of bringing a comfortable, beautiful gathering place to the community. When we found the old Mancini’s Café space, we knew it would be perfect to serve as a hybrid commercial bakery and local bistro,” said Junction’s co-owner Noe Landini. “We chose to work with CORE again because they share my commitment to historic restoration – and they are so passionate about crafting beautiful, creative designs that also maintain the integrity of an era.”

    CORE and Landini worked with Potomac Construction Services (General Contractor), Seth Design Group (Branding and Graphic Design), Design Tech (MEP), and Rathgeber Goss (Structural Engineering) to complete Junction. It began its soft opening on July 6.

    Junction serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, grab-and-go pastry options, as well as Commonwealth Joe coffee drinks and fresh pressed juice made in house by Grateful Juice Co. Head chef and baker Hatfield also supplies bread products to Landini’s other restaurants and plans to supply other local eateries in the near future.

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed more than 60 restaurants in locations across the U.S. with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Garces Group, Think Food Group, Centrolina, CopyCat Co., Del Campo, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

    About Junction Bakery & Bistro

    Junction Bakery & Bistro is an American bistro featuring fresh-baked bread located at 1508 Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. Chef and head baker Nathan Hatfield serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in the beautiful space inspired by the area's railroad history. Junction also offers grab-and-go bread and pastry options, fresh-pressed juice from Grateful Juice Co., and a full wholesale bakery operation. For more information, please visit www.junctionbakery.com.

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • Just 8 Units Remain at Columbia Height’s Newest Luxury Condo
  • Design Mind

    7.5.16

    Allison Cooke helps DC restaurants find their aesthetic groove through smart design. Read the full article at modernluxury.com.

  • Inside 600 Mass, a Gould project 30-plus years in the making
  • Bar Deco by CORE, Washington D.C.
  • Nobu Plans To Open This Year, Condos Above To Follow In 2017
  • Arielle Shoshana fragrance boutique by CORE, Washington, DC
  • Noe Landini Will Open Junction Bakery and Bistro in Del Ray

    1.20.16

    Read the full article at dc.eater.com.

  • CORE Completes New Art Deco-inspired American Brasserie Silver

    12.15.15

    For immediate release

    CORE Completes New Art Deco-inspired American Brasserie Silver

    Inspired by 1920s scofflaw culture of prohibition and Pullman car style, Silver (by Silver Diner)

    brings all-day refinement, energy and fresh, local food to Bethesda Row

    WASHINGTON (December 15, 2015)—Silver, a new 4550 square foot American brasserie concept developed by Silver Diner’s co-founders and designed by DC-based architecture/design firm CORE, recently opened in downtown Bethesda. Located in Stonebridge’s new development, The Flats (7150 Woodmont Ave.), Silver merges the DNA of an egalitarian diner with the refinement and energy of an Art Deco brasserie to create a unique modern dining experience for active, sophisticated urban dwellers. Expanding beyond the farm-to-table breakfast, lunch, and dinner of Silver Diner, Silver offers an innovative menu by Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst (co-founder). The exciting fresh and local menu complements the restaurant’s craft bar program for socially-active late night patrons. Silver’s prominent storefront exposure and grand illuminated signage make it a new beacon at the gateway of Bethesda Row.

     “After trips with the Silver team to DC’s bustling 14th Street corridor and New York’s brasserie’s and bars, we were inspired by 1920s Art Deco design – combined with the best functional elements of a diner – to make Silver an elegant, energetic addition to Bethesda’s restaurant scene,” said CORE’s Director of Hospitality Design Allison Cooke. “Silver blends the best of a brasserie and a diner to create a modern, engaging dining experience. Its dramatic lighting draws the eye of street-goers and adds to the iconic, alluring glow of Silver’s prominent storefront.”

    Silver’s layout, influenced by a traditional diner, has a central entrance, long, narrow shape, and the dining counter and kitchen front and center. Patrons will see Silver’s dining counter -- which becomes the bar later in the day – as soon as they enter. The bar’s energy and activity will instantly greet late-night guests. The bar and back-bar design were inspired by the exterior windows of a Pullman car, as well as the details of a traditional diner kitchen and lunch counter.

    To create Silver’s rich Art Deco look, CORE developed an elegant color palette that combines blue, silver, cream, black and Mahogany-wood tones with punches of red. Patined-zinc metal finishes join glazed brick, rich-stained millwork, mosaic tile and antique mirror to complete the sophisticated 1920s aesthetic. Custom large-scale lighting pendants with period detailing give the space a warm glow, and drive the character and ambiance of the various day parts.

    The prominent hand-glazed brick wall tile, found in Deco-era train stations, adds character and visual texture to the dining room. African Sapele wood, a modern interpretation of the mahogany popular in the 1920s, adds warmth. The floor pattern is rich hand-glazed blue, silver, cream and black mosaic tile in a rectangular Art Deco motif that showcases the three bars in Silver’s logo. Much of the metal finishes have a zinc-like patina, rather than a high shine stainless seen in 1950s diners, and are detailed with rounded corners and countersunk rivets made popular by industrial designer Raymond Loewy. Deep red leatherette upholstery adds tactile warmth to the booths and banquettes. Antique mirrors feature applied branding graphics similar to the Deco-era advertising styles. The alternating vertical bands of antique mirror and rolls of navy blue upholstery that cover the walls by the restroom reinterpret a train car exterior.

    Large tiled columns, adorned with back-lit metal fabrications, anchor the north and south portions of the dining room. “We really love the Art Deco columns – with their soaring height and back-lit skyscraper forms – and the large cast-metal and resin Art Deco starburst motif on the wall at the end of the dining room. Both elements add such rich, dynamic texture,” said CORE’s project designer Daniel Chapman. “We took a lot of joy in scaling large Deco-building design features into the small human-scale metalwork details on Silver’s booths and millwork pieces.”

    The seating plan relies heavily on booths – like a diner – to create a cozy, comfortable feel where customers can have an intimate meal, and still be part of the open brasserie-like space. Having the booths aligned along the window gives Silver a warm, alluring street presence and alludes to the window views from a Pullman train car. The Pullman-inspired proscenium helps to bring the iconic language of the exterior signage inside, while allowing the entire large glass storefront to act like a ‘Nighthawks’ style beacon in the night. Long banquettes and high ceilings give the feel of a traditional brasserie, while wood-paneled soffits and low walls with reeded-glass panels divide it into smaller, more intimate spaces reminiscent of historic diners.

    Silver’s design and construction, as well as the base building design/construction, progressed simultaneously so CORE worked continually with Stonebridge to accommodate base-building construction needs into Silver’s design – and vice versa. “Stonebridge was instrumental in helping us develop our exterior identity, and assisting us in incorporating our unique signage and outdoor café personality into the larger plans for the development,” said Chapman. “As a result, we were able to achieve an impressive amount of visibility and iconic character on Woodmont Avenue.”

    “With our creation of Silver, we’ve taken the Silver Diner brand to the next level. Silver Diner has achieved great success in the suburbs, but we wanted to take advantage of the trend toward urban and semi-urban dwelling and cosmopolitan lifestyles,” said Silver Diner and Silver co-founder Robert Giaimo. “Silver is an elegant and active brand extension that also engages our younger, sophisticated, and urban clientele.” Giaimo, and his business partner, Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst were the founders of American Café, a highly successful brand in the D.C. region and then, more than 25 years ago, they opened Silver Diner. Silver is the next restaurant concept in their career portfolio.

    “With a focus on expanding the heritage of Silver Diner’s traditional day parts, Silver adds night-life energy and elegance with a craft cocktail and bar program, an elevated level of dining service and thanks to CORE, impressive architectural and design detail,” continued Giaimo.

    CORE worked closely with Stonebridge (Developer), Uniwest (General Contractor), FDS Design (Food Service Consultant), Allen & Shariff (MEP Engineer), GT Brothers (Millwork), Soft Touch Furniture (Custom Booth Fabrication), AK Metals (Metal Fabrication), Greg Kauffman (Branding and logo), and Arundel Signs (Exterior signage) to complete Silver. It opened in late September.

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed more than 55 restaurants in locations across the U.S. with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Jose Garces, Think Food Group, CopyCat Co., Del Campo, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

     About Silver

    Silver is the inspiration and creation of Robert Giaimo and Ype Von Hengst, the creative pair behind other successful regional brands including Silver Diner and American Café.  Over the years, these brands have risen to engage a strong following of the next generation while maintaining popularity with their existing customers. Silver, with its diner roots but added sophistication, brings a whole new level of fresh, farm-to-table cuisine under the orchestration of award-winning Von Hengst.  Throughout the day—for breakfast, lunch and dinner, guests are able to experience high-quality offerings in a comfortable, yet sophisticated environment. A craft bar serving a creative drink menu welcomes late night patrons.  For more information on Silver, visit eatatsilver.com.

     

    For more information contact:

    Daniel C. Chapman at CORE

    202-466-6116

    dcc@coredc.com

  • PRP, Core Group PC launch conversion of 2501 M from office to luxury condos - Washington Business Journal

    12.15.15

    Read the article at bizjournals.com.

    See this project in our portfolio.

  • Buena Onda in Hospitality Design
  • CORE completes Chef Amy Brandwein’s Centrolina

    7.28.15

    For immediate release

    CORE completes Chef Amy Brandwein’s Centrolina

     A dual-concept market and osteria in CityCenterDC, Centrolina combines

    an easy Californian aesthetic with the best of seasonal Italian cuisine

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 28, 2015)—This summer CityCenterDC residents and visitors can stroll down Palmer Alley to peruse and enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at Chef Amy Brandwein’s first solo restaurant – Centrolina. CORE, a DC-based architecture firm, designed the dual-concept market and osteria. CORE worked with Chef Brandwein to create a light and welcoming space where customers can enjoy a quick espresso, eat in the intimate open-kitchen dining room, or select a house-made option to prepare at home. Centrolina is 4,075 square feet and located at 974 Palmer Alley in the heart of the development.

    “Amy wanted her space to blend a casual California aesthetic with the sensibility of an upscale urban market,” said CORE’s director of hospitality design Allison Cooke. “The market “island” anchors the space and guests circulate around it, ultimately discovering the intimate restaurant layered beyond. With the coffee counter at one end and the bar at the other, each entry has its own identity, while reinforcing the architectural blend of a market that you can dine within.”

    The quick-stop counter and barista-serviced coffee bar are designed for speed and convenience– piled high with fresh grab-and-go European-style sandwiches, antipasti and house-made pastries – will be the first thing customers see when they walk into the market. In the evening, the counter will transform into a mini cocktail bar. In fact, most of elements in the space take on a dual use, as the space transitions from day to night. The bar on the other end with its grey and teal quartzite top will allow daytime guests to view the bustling market while they have a casual lunch, transitioning to a small lively wine bar later in the day. As customers move further into the space, the osteria nestled behind the market is light and comfortable with white brick and a spacious banquette along the far wall. Tongue-and-groove white-oak planking runs diagonally on the market walls, while the osteria and bar have a charcoal oak cladding for a soft contrast. A monolithic ribbon of warm wood on the ceiling visually links all the spaces from market and bar to open kitchen.

    Dine-in guests will be immersed in the cooking experience as they dine because of their views of the fresh market produce (that Chef Brandwein will feature in her osteria menu), the open kitchen, and terracotta-clad wood oven. Guests in the 4-person booth facing the oven will have a chef’s table view. Within the cozy private dining room, a large, dramatic driftwood chandelier adds a natural element to the clean, white palette, which is punctuated by fuchsia chairs.

    To create Centrolina’s fresh and relaxed look, CORE created a restful and neutral color palette that combines white, cream, grey and blond-wood tones with sophisticated punches of turquoise, terracotta and fuchsia. Matte white metal finishes join white-painted brick, leather, light wood, and polished concrete to create an easy Californian aesthetic. CORE added round-mirrored sconces in a constellation-like formation to the brick wall over the banquettes to reflect light around the room and frame a piece of art selected by the Chef. Centrolina’s original artwork is infused with a sense of romance and a love of the foods and landscapes of Italy. Blue Italian-patterned wall tile continue the theme into the restrooms.

    “Atmosphere and environment are such a big part of the contemporary Italian dining experience,” said Chef Brandwein. “And working with CORE, we were really able to capture that feel, both in the regional Italian osteria and the seasonal local market.”

    CORE worked with Rand Construction (General Contractor), Caliber Design (MEP Engineer), and FDS Design (Food Service Consultant) to complete Centrolina. Two other CORE projects that opened in CityCenterDC last year: RareSweets by pastry chef Meredith Tomason and the luxurious CityCenter Fitness Center.

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed more than 55 restaurants in locations across the U.S. with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Jose Garces, Think Food Group, CopyCat Co., Del Campo, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

    About Amy Brandwein

    Centrolina is Amy Brandwein’s first solo restaurant project. Before setting her sights on her own place, Brandwein served as chef de cuisine at Alba Osteria in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the team at Alba Osteria, she launched her own hospitality consulting company, Chef AmyB and served as executive chef at Casa Nonna, BLT Restaurant Group’s first Italian concept in the District. Previously Brandwein served as executive chef at Galileo and Osteria del Galileo. Chef Brandwein is a longtime supporter of local charities, including So Others Might Eat, DC Central Kitchen and Martha's Table. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • CORE completes Garces Group’s new concept Buena Onda

    7.21.15

    For immediate release

    CORE completes Garces Group’s new concept Buena Onda

    Inspired by the relaxed spirit of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, Buena Onda’s design brings the “good vibes” of the coastal culture to the heart of Philadelphia.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2015)—Philadelphians wishing for a sunny summer vacation can now be transported to the beaches of Mexico as they step into Garces Group’s latest concept– Buena Onda – located on the ground floor of The Granary (1901 Callowhill Street) in Philadelphia across the street from the newly constructed Barnes Foundation museum. Garces Group worked with DC-based architecture/design firm CORE to create the bright, modern Baja-inspired 2300 SF dining and bar concept.

    “Buena Onda guests should feel as though they’ve traveled to the relaxing and vibrant beach towns of Mexico. It was important that the design set the tone from the moment they walk through the door,” said CORE’s director of hospitality design Allison Cooke. “We accomplished this with a light and airy, coastal-inspired palette and décor that create a subtle play of wall textures, color-blocking, and warm natural materials.”

    When customers enter Buena Onda, they will immediately notice the tropical teal bar that is sheltered beneath a modern “palapa.” CORE reinterpreted a traditional palapa, or grass-thatch hut found on Mexican beaches, by using whitewashed wood slats with a dark wood lattice framework. This structure makes the bar a focal point and helps distinguish it from the adjacent Point of Sale. The Point of Sale is comprised of white decorative concrete block, which adds subtle pattern and reinforces the relaxed atmosphere.

    “We found inspiration by looking at the architecture of Luis Barragan and how he created volumes through color blocking,” said CORE’s project designer Hilary Miners. “Not only did he use bright, distinctive colors to create massing, but the surfaces themselves contain texture and variation.”

    The spaces of Buena Onda are also defined by these volumes and their different materials: the lattice pattern of the Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU), wood slat panels, periwinkle furniture, citrus yellow and turquoise tile, and a white raked plaster texture. Acapulco chairs were also recreated, and they take form in the shape of custom lighting that cascades throughout the dining space. The delicate black metal framework pops against the bleached teal and wood tones. Since the existing ceiling is over 15-feet tall, lowering these light fixtures provides a canopy to the guests while they are eating.

    “In an effort to capture the essence of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, CORE's design brought the relaxed surfer spirit of the region to life here in Philadelphia, which works perfectly for our casual dining experience,” said Chef Jose Garces.

    In partnership with Jetty, a southern New Jersey-based apparel company, the restaurant will also feature a small retail area where a curated selection of the surf inspired collection will be available for purchase.

    CORE worked with CVMNext Construction (General Contractor), Feustel Foodservice Design, LLC (Food Service Consultant),hpe GROUP, LLC (MEP Engineer), Meline Woodworking Inc (Millwork), Atreus Works (Millwork), Weholden (Branding and logo), Seth Design Group (Graphic and Menu design), and Baker the Sign Man (Exterior signage) to complete Buena Onda with the Garces Group team.

     

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed more than 55 restaurants in locations across the U.S. with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Jose Garces, Think Food Group, CopyCat Co., Del Campo, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

     

    About the Garces Group

    Since opening their first restaurant in 2005, Garces Group has emerged as one of the nation’s leading restaurant companies. The eponymous Garces Group operates more than fifteen restaurants in seven cities: Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Scottsdale, AZ; Palm Springs, CA; Washington, D.C.; and Moorestown, NJ.  Their award-winning concepts range from authentic Andalusian tapas and modern Mexican street food to European bistro fare and artisanal American food and drink, including Amada, Distrito, Garces Trading Company, JG Domestic, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Distrito Taco Truck, El Jefe, Rosa Blanca, Volvér, Rural Society, and in partnership with Sage Hospitality, Mercat a la Planxa, as well as a full service event planning division, Garces Events. In addition, Chef Garces is the owner of 40-acre Luna Farm in Bucks County, PA, where he and his team grow produce used throughout his East Coast restaurants. For more information about Garces Group or their restaurants, please visit www.garcesgroup.com and follow them on Twitter: @garcesgroup and @chefjosegarces.

     

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • It's not on the menu, but design is key to a restaurant's success

    7.1.15

    Read the article at washingtonpost.com.

  • More Centrolina News from WBJ and Eater DC!

    5.20.15

    See the articles at  bizjournals.com and eaterdc.com.

  • RareSweets Featured by Hospitality Design

    4.16.15

    See the article at hospitalitydesign.com.

  • Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED, AP | Chef's Roll

    3.27.15

    Read about our restaurant design process in recent Chef's Roll interview with Director of Hospitality, Allison Cooke at chefsroll.com.

  • 14th & Quincy LIVE

    3.26.15

    Watch the construction progress here, courtesy of Moseley Construction Group.

  • CORE Completes Historic Georgetown Post Office Renovation and Expansion

    1.14.15

    For immediate release

    CORE Completes Historic Georgetown Post Office Renovation and Expansion

    Architecture/design firm CORE combines old and new structure to enhance historic design features while adding essential modern function

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 14, 2015)—After a year of meticulous planning and construction, the renovation and expansion of the historic Georgetown Post Office is complete. Developer EastBanc, Inc. worked with CORE, a leading Georgetown-based architecture/design firm, to renovate and expand the Old Georgetown Post Office. Software development company EastBanc Technologies has moved into the iconic structure located at 1215 31st Street, NW, Washington, DC, while a new post office remains on the main floor.

    “It has been an honor to work with EastBanc and Georgetown’s historic preservation community to maintain the Post Office’s original exterior and many interior design elements, while upgrading and expanding the building to meet today’s requirements,” said Guy Martin, the project principal at CORE. “This building has been part of the Georgetown community for more than 150 years and now, it’s ready for another 150.”

    CORE’s design expanded the lower level of the post office structure with a new concrete and steel addition while preserving and restoring the original 19th century spaces above. Among successful design elements are the exposed concrete walls in the lower level and upgraded lighting throughout. The concrete walls in the new addition below the skylights are washed in light by concealed lighting in the adjacent bulkhead.

    “A big goal of this project was to leave the existing building construction exposed wherever possible to emphasize the history of the building – while contrasting old and new work,” said Martin. “This visual harmonization and contrast gives the Georgetown Post Office tenant spaces a unique character that’s very atypical for an office interior.”

    EastBanc Technologies’ occupies three floors of the building: the expanded lower level (former basement level); and renovated first/ground and second levels. Fifteen-foot ceilings and interior skylights unify the tri-level office space. Because the main building structure was preserved, the only addition is to the lower level. CORE added an outside entry directly into this level which now has an open, sky-lit office space, a common social center, and a pantry/dining area in the original building’s vaulted cellars.

    The first/ground level of the building has been carefully modified to include: the smaller, updated U.S. Post Office; an entry vestibule and reception lobby; and an executive suite of private offices.

    The second level, which was the Georgetown Customs Office until 1960 when it became a post office storage area, has been fully restored. It includes the original marble fireplace and wood floors from the original office of the Customs Master. So as not to encroach upon the historic architectural details, CORE gave the new office an open floor plan using a modular office system, and created a minimalist interior color scheme of grey, brown, black and white.

    “EastBanc wanted a sophisticated, neutral paint scheme that would enhance the historic proportions of the building – and be easy to maintain,” said CORE’s project designer Kristin Carleton. “We hope this distinctive work environment inspires their creativity.”

    FACE Associates, Inc. (MEP), Prospect Waterproofing Company (Green Roof), C A C Consulting, Inc. (Structural) and Wiles Mensch Corporation (Civil) also worked on the project with CORE.

    History of the Old Georgetown Post Office

    Designed by Ammi B. Young in 1857, the Old Georgetown Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Renaissance-style building has housed a post office since the James Buchanan administration and features high ceilings and ornamented columns. When it opened in 1858, the first floor was the Georgetown post office and the second floor was the Customs House for goods imported through the port of Georgetown. Eventually, Georgetown merged into the District of Columbia and the Customs House left the building in 1960, when the port of Georgetown ceased to operate.

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE is an internationally recognized firm that has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: EastBanc Inc., Gould Property Company, Hines, Think Food Group, Garces Group, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Brasserie Beck, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

     

    For more information contact:

    Guy Martin at CORE

    202-466-6116

    igm@coredc.com

  • The Big Stick Brings Sports Bar/Restaurant with Alpine Flair to Capitol Riverfront Neighborhood

    12.18.14

     For immediate release

      

    The Big Stick Brings Sports Bar/Restaurant with Alpine Flair to Capitol Riverfront Neighborhood

    Architecture firm CORE designs Alpine-inspired sports bar/restaurant to welcome ballpark neighbors and visitors year round

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (DECEMBER 18, 2014)—As Winter begins to chill Washington, DC residents, sports fans can cozy up and relax at The Big Stick. Located at 20 M Street, SE, right down the street from Nationals Park (near the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station), The Big Stick is the latest 2,555 SF bar/restaurant venture from the team behind Justin’s Café. DC-based architecture/design firm CORE gave The Big Stick a modern, Alpine aesthetic that subtly reflects its proximity to the ballpark.

    “Justin is already familiar with the neighborhood dynamic, and the team was drawn to the location due to its closer proximity to the ballpark, but they wanted to create something a little different – not just another sports bar,” said CORE’s director of hospitality design Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP. “Inspired by a European ski trip, they challenged us to create a bar-focused restaurant that is as cozy as a chalet but translates well in the busy summer months. Like an active sports bar, the concept needed to convey the social, watering-hole atmosphere of a ski lodge. It was a really unique concept and exciting design challenge!”

    The bar at The Big Stick is the focus, clad in horizontal blond-wood paneling and hand-painted with an Alpine design motif that fades from the concrete bar front onto the floor. High-top tables flank the bar and provide flexible seating, especially for game days. The kitchen, designed to expedite food preparation and service, hides behind the bar. CORE also tucked a secluded lounge space behind a fireplace, where another nod to the Nationals hangs from the ceiling: a bespoke wall sculpture created from baseball bats.

    “We made sure that The Big Stick had dining, TV viewing and bar areas for guests in any mood – at lunch, dinner, or after a good ballgame. Whether you want to hang out with lots of friends, snuggle into a booth, or quietly retreat to a leather wing chair by the fire, The Big Stick can accommodate you.”

    Smooth, bleached wood tones set the color palette with generous accents of “Swiss” red, black, white and Dutch-blue. The red and blue are a subtle nod to the Nationals team colors. The Swiss red is the most prominent color as it repeats in a ski-lift inspired booth, and red ceiling panels and plaid-flannel on the lounge walls. Fur throws and leather wing chairs add warmth and texture to the lounge décor.

    The Big Stick will offer a selection of European lagers and pilsners and American draft beers, as well as a hearty menu of craft sausages, brats, and select high-end bar fare. “We are excited to bring The Big Stick to our Capitol Riverfront neighbors,” said The Big Stick’s co-owner Justin Ross. “We met with a lot of design firms and clicked with the CORE team right off the bat. They understood what we were looking for and created both the sophisticated sports bar design and function we hoped for.”

    CORE worked with Forrester Construction (General Contractor) and Atreus Works (sculpture & bar painting) to complete construction of The Big Stick.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Think Food Group, Garces Group, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Brasserie Beck, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

     

  • So Many Bats: Inside the Baseball and Ski Chalet-Influenced The Big Stick

    12.11.14

    Read the article at dc.eater.com.

  • CORE Completes RareSweets Design in CityCenterDC

    12.9.14

    For immediate release

     

    CORE completes RareSweets design in CityCenterDC

    CORE worked with Chef/Founder Meredith Tomason 

    to reinterpret classic bakery design elements into fresh, contemporary look

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (DECEMBER 9, 2014)—The recently opened RareSweets, located in Washington’s CityCenterDC, was designed by local architecture/design firm CORE. CORE worked with pastry chef and founder Meredith Tomason to create a fresh, contemporary bakery that will serve heritage-recipe-inspired cakes, pies and ice creams. RareSweets is 1,212 SF and located at 963 Palmer Alley in the heart of the new CityCenterDC development.

    “Our RareSweets design was inspired by antique pie chests, bake ware, and a collection of heritage cookbooks Meredith inherited,” said CORE’s director of hospitality design Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP. “But Meredith wanted to make sure that, like her culinary creations, the design reinterpreted traditional bakery notions with a modern angle.”

    RareSweets customers will notice a motif repeated throughout the space that was inspired by designs on antique cookbook covers. A back-lit perforated wood apron – a punched pie tin creatively re-envisioned – wraps around the ceiling of the space. Larger, horizontally-stacked grey subway tiles clad the walls instead of traditional white subway tiles. Supersized hexagonal floor tiles replace the traditionally small-tile treatment. Linear butcher block and mink marble countertops were used as an alternative to the expected Carrera marble. And glass cake domes become light fixtures.

    “We are excited to bring RareSweets to CityCenterDC – and CORE has been a wonderful guide and partner in the whole design and construction process,” said RareSweet’s owner and chef Meredith Tomason. “They took my vision and excitement that I pour into my business and created an environment that perfectly personifies that. I love how they re-imagined classic bakery icons in such a current, modern way.”

    As RareSweets customers queue in front of the icing station and playful wall of icing tools, they will appreciate the crisp and light design palette that mixes white, grey and honey-stained pine and ash tones with the bakery’s bright-yellow brand color. And if the delicious smells of freshly baked goods don’t draw CityCenterDC visitors into RareSweets, the daily specials being displayed in the front window surely will.

    CORE worked closely with Hines’ retail team, as well as Potomac Construction Services (General Contractor) and Cherry Blossom Creative (Graphic Design) to complete construction of RareSweets in just over two months. CORE has two other projects at CityCenterDC: Centrolina by Amy Brandwein opening in 2015; and the luxurious CityCenter Fitness Center which opened earlier this year.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Think Food Group, Garces Group, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, Brasserie Beck, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, and Hilton Worldwide, among numerous others.

     

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • The Big Stick Will Take Some Design Inspiration from Ski Lodges

    11.24.14

    Read the article at dc.eater.com.

  • Behind-the-Scenes at RareSweets, Opening in CityCenterDC

    11.12.14

    Read about it at dc.eater.com.

  • New CORE-designed restaurant Centrolina coming to CityCenterDC

    10.29.14

    Read about it at dc.eater.com and popville.com

  • EastBanc Technologies signs historic Georgetown Post Office lease

    10.29.14

    Washington Business Journal reports on the CORE-updated Georgetown Post Office. Read about it at bizjournals.com.

  • CORE Wins at Cosmo Couture 2014!

    9.23.14

    CORE and Architectural Ceramics win the Haute Couture Award at the 5th Annual Cosmo Couture! Read about it at northernvirginiamag.com and workdesign.com.

  • minibar makes the cover of ArchitectureDC's Fall 2014 issue

    9.5.14

    See the  digital edition at flipbook.hbp.com.

  • Inside District Doughnut, D.C.'s 'Designer' Doughnut Shop

    8.8.14

    Read the article at dc.eater.com.

  • Ground breaks on downtown Columbia office, apartment project

    7.31.14

    Read the article at now at bizjournals.com.

  • Breaking Ground on 600 Massachusetts Avenue

    7.18.14

    For Immediate Release

    Gould Property Company and Oxford Properties Group
    Break Ground on 600 Massachusetts Avenue

    Architects at CORE design office building that connects DC’s historic brick architecture to modern glass high-rise design, and is designed to meet LEED Platinum requirements

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (JULY 18, 2014)—Gould Property Company (Gould) and Oxford Properties Group are breaking ground this week on their 400,000 square foot office building at 600 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC. The building is designed to meet LEED Platinum requirements. Gould has worked with the architects at CORE, a local award-winning design firm, to create a project that combines highly-efficient floor planning, clean aesthetics, forward-thinking amenities and green spaces that blur the line between what’s indoors and what’s outdoors.

    “We envisioned this building as a glass crystal embedded in a brick block–mediating between high-rise Massachusetts Avenue and historic Eye Street,” said CORE principal and lead designer I. Guy Martin, AIA. “I drew the first design sketches of this project for Kingdon Gould in 1981 so it’s immensely gratifying to see the final project break ground.”

    Starting as a 10-story glass office tower facing Massachusetts Avenue, the building cascades down towards Eye Street in a series of landscaped terraces that end in brick facades to reinforce the adjacent historic structures. The landscaped terraces not only provide outdoor space for the adjacent office spaces but also contribute to the building’s LEED Platinum rating.

    “Guy and the CORE team have taken advantage of this unique site and made 600 Mass into a truly unique building,” said Kingdon Gould III. “This project has evolved and grown over time and without CORE’s commitment to our vision – and deep architectural knowledge and creativity – we would not be creating such a landmark building.”

    The project’s design was subject to approval from the Historic preservation Review Board and the District of Columbia’s Office of Planning, as well as the City Council which had to approve an alley closing. The site has a complex geometry resulting from the L’Enfant plan’s angled avenues laid over a rectangular grid – Massachusetts Avenue is at an acute angle to Eye Street. The design takes advantage of this geometry to create a prominent corner element with views east down Massachusetts Avenue towards the Capitol.

    “We’ve been committed to 600 Mass earning a LEED Platinum rating for a long time,” said Martin. “At CORE, we instinctively infuse sustainable design into every project so it’s good to see Gould and Oxford so focused on that same goal.”

    To earn a LEED Platinum rating with the U.S. Green Building Council, the 600 Mass team addressed a spectrum of issues relating to sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design and regional priority. The building’s numerous sustainable, integrated design elements include:

    • The integrated design of the building envelope and mechanical system to ensure that the project will be energy efficient;
    • Water-efficient landscaping and technologies, including the ability to capture and reuse 100% of rainwater, to minimize water use in the building, and substantially reduce water discharge from the building;
    • A comprehensive recycling and waste management program to reduce landfill waste;
    • Clean, filtered air to provide the highest indoor air quality to every floor; and
    • Sourcing building materials and hiring a local construction team to reduce carbon emissions related to both transportation and ongoing energy consumption.

    “The outdoor areas at 600 Mass will be spectacular,” said Martin. “There are no other office buildings in Washington with this amount and quality of green space.” Five of 600 Mass’ 10 floors feature lushly-planted private balconies, and the rooftop offers a sophisticated, indoor/outdoor conference area.

    In addition to CORE (Project Architect), Gould is also working with: Clark Construction (General Contractor), SK&A Structural Engineers (Structural Design), Girard Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing), Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (Landscape Design), and Sustainable Design Consulting (Sustainable Design). 600 Massachusetts will be completed in 2016.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Chef Jose Andres, Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and The American Enterprise Institute, among numerous others.

     

     

    For more information contact:

    Guy Martin at CORE

    202-466-6116

    igm@coredc.com

     

  • Your Sneak Peek Inside the New CityCenter Fitness Center

    7.9.14

    Read the article at dc.curbed.com.

  • Renovate, Innovate, Update – CORE and the Mount Pleasant Library

    6.9.14

    Read about CORE's Mt. Pleasant Library project on the Graphisoft Blog.

  • Getting Dirty: Inside The Old Georgetown Post Office Renovation

    4.28.14

    Read the article at dc.curbed.com.

  • District Taco Debuts in DC’s West End

    4.21.14

    For immediate release

     

    District Taco Debuts in DC’s West End

    Architecture firm CORE designs third and largest DC location of Yucatan-inspired taqueria

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (APRIL 21, 2014)—As Spring finally warms the DC area, District Taco’s fresh Mexican cuisine is heating up the West End/DuPont Circle neighborhood with its newest location at 1919 M Street, NW. The local restaurant chainlet’s owners Osiris Hoil and Marc Wallace chose CORE, a prominent Georgetown-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning hospitality design practice, to give its third and largest DC location authentic taqueria style.

    “We are proud to be working with District Taco again. Building strong, lasting relationships with our clients is crucial,” said CORE’s director of hospitality design Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP. As with District Taco’s two other DC locations, we gave the West End restaurant the casual and welcoming “Yucatan style” that reflects Osiris’ heritage,” said Cooke. “West End customers will also appreciate some reused/recycled design features, a larger cooking line, and more seating.”

    The 3,700 SF West End location is one-level with airy 20-foot high ceilings. The fresh made-to-order food preparation and free-standing salsa bar are the main focuses of the design. The salsa bar is clad in shipping crates – recycled from District Taco’s stores and carts – and the now signature plastic milk-crate light fixture hangs overhead. Bar-height tables, booths, banquettes and a counter at the window offer guests varied seating options.

    “Designing this location was different from the other District Tacos because instead of this being a gut job, we could salvage design elements from the former tenant,” added CORE’s project designer Meryl Mullins. “For instance, we patched and repaired the black slate flooring and created custom wall light fixtures out of the black metal panels from the large circular steel oven.”

    District Taco’s West End location has a similar layout to the Capitol Hill location except for a new vestibule that was added to meet building codes. “The new vestibule, which has a set of custom doors, gave us an opportunity to create a new design element, as well as better guide customers into the ordering queue.” The rest of the design features echo the low-fi design from the Capitol Hill location: honey-colored woods, textured stainless steel, distressed red-painted wood planks, and exposed brick meld with a vibrant overlay of golden yellow and green accents. Rough-hewn oak planking surrounds the point-of-sale and the ceiling remains exposed. A length of red rain gutter in the ceiling visually guides guests around the salsa bar and into the seating zone.

    “We are excited to bring District Taco to our loyal fans and new customers in West End,” said District Taco’s co-owner Osiris Hoil. “As with all of our new locations, we reused and recycled as many building materials as possible so that the restaurant feels relaxed and modest. This way, we create a comfortable environment where the main focus is our fresh, simple food that tastes great.” District Taco’s DC menu will offer its well-recognized taco, burrito and quesadilla offerings (http://media.districttaco.com/paper-menu.pdf) and will be open daily.

    CORE worked with General Contractor Rand to complete construction of the new District Taco location. This is District Taco’s fourth location in the DC area.

     

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • CORE Completes Women’s Transitional Housing Facility, First New DHS Building in 20 years

    3.6.14

    For immediate release

     

    CORE Completes Women’s Transitional Housing Facility, First New DHS Building in 20 years

    Architecture firm CORE combines old structure, new materials to create calm, safe environment for future residents and staff

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (MARCH 6, 2014)—Earlier this week, DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon and Department of Human Services (DHS) Director David Berns held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Women’s Transitional Housing Facility – the DHS’ first new-build facility in 20 years. CORE, a prominent DC-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning base build practice, designed the new 15,000 SF transitional housing facility that is located at 611 N Street NW, Washington, DC (in the Shaw neighborhood just north of the Washington Convention Center and new O Street Market).

     The DC DHS awarded this $6-million design project in 2009. “Given the needs of this facility’s future residents, we’ve worked hard to create a comfortable, modern space where everyone can feel safe and secure,” said Dale Stewart, the project principal at CORE.

    Previously a 1970s police station, CORE re-used the existing foundation and most of the brick skin, while incorporating new features and materials so that the new building can meet Silver LEED standards. An Exterior Insulated Finish System (EIFS is a stucco-like coating over rigid insulation) covers the majority of the new exterior while the original bricks encircle the base of the new building. Vertical EIFS panels and two alternating sizes of windows create a visual rhythm across the building’s façade.

    “Everything – from the re-use of existing structure, to the new green roofs for storm water management, to the amount of daylight that enters every room – makes this building highly sustainable and liveable,” said Stewart. AIA DC recognized this project’s innovative design with an “Unbuilt Award” (Honor Award) in 2010.

    The first level of the building includes: an entry vestibule and reception lobby; a shared dining room, kitchen and computer/training lab for client use; and a multipurpose conference room mainly for staff use.

    On the second level, the facility’s communal spaces are broken up into five clusters of shared living space and bathrooms with six single bedrooms in each cluster. Each cluster is approximately 1100 SF. The cluster configuration enables the program manager, New Endeavors by Women (http://nebw.org), to create small, supportive communities where they can offer specialized counseling, advocacy and client support.

    The interior color scheme is a white background with accent walls and full height wall panels that provide pops of color throughout the space. Each cluster has its own color that is used as an accent in that cluster. The color scheme was chosen to prevent the building from feeling like a traditional shelter, and to allow for playful, joyful colors to permeate the space. The previous building had a number of very colorful wall murals so CORE used them for color inspiration.

    CORE also incorporated a number of interesting design features into the facility including: An open-tread metal staircase with wood treads and a custom-designed perforated stainless steel guard rail; maple-veneered millwork in the bedroom clusters; homasote wall panels that provide a tackable surface and sound dampening; a conference room surrounded by sliding glass doors colored in shades of blue; and bathroom countertops made from paperstone (a recycled-paper solid surface product). Where possible both inside and out, CORE used locally sourced, salvaged and recycled materials in the architecture and design.

    “We made the staircase a striking-but-functional feature that adds modern style to the facility,” said project architect Dean Hutchison. “And we used pops of color to bring positive energy into the space.”

    Allen & Shariff (MEP), Oculus (Landscaping), Rathgeber-Goss (Structural) and Wiles Mensch (Civil) also worked on the project with CORE.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE is an internationally recognized firm that has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, and numerous others.

     

    For more information contact:

    Dean Hutchison at CORE

    202-466-6116

    cdh@coredc.com

  • Check Out D.C.'s New LEED Silver Women's Shelter

    3.6.14

    Read about it at dc.curbed.com.

  • Bank of Georgetown Honors Curt Winsor III With New Headquarters

    2.5.14

    Read more about CORE-designed Bank of Georgetown Headquarters at thegeorgetowndish.com.

  • Bank of Georgetown Moves to New Headquarters in Georgetown

    2.5.14

    For Immediate Release

    Bank of Georgetown Moves to New Headquarters in Georgetown

    Architecture firm CORE infuses old Gas Co. building with fresh, modern design

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (JANUARY 21, 2014) — Bank of Georgetown has just completed and occupied its new corporate headquarters on 30th Street in Georgetown. CORE, a prominent Washington, DC-based architecture and design firm, provided the design on the headquarters as it has done for seven of the Bank’s branches. Bank of Georgetown leased space in the heart of Georgetown at 1115 30th Street, NW, for their offices and eleventh bank branch.

    “We enjoyed working with the Bank on their headquarters, extending the brand identity we had developed for the branches into the new offices,” said CORE project designer Ron Ngiam, AIA.

    The brick Colonial-style building started life as part of a Washington Gas Company maintenance facility that filled the entire block. It had undergone a number of renovations in the 1970s and 1990s. The design for the headquarters focused largely on the interiors with some modification of the main entrance. The ground floor lobby – with pedestrian access from both 30th Street and the courtyard behind – holds the major public spaces, including the boardroom and the branch. The project was subject to review by the Commission of Fine Arts Old Georgetown Board.

    “We wanted to create a positive and warm work environment while echoing the modern, clean design that makes Bank of Georgetown branches so visually distinctive,” said Ron Ngiam. “Headquarters’ visitors will notice the same striking use of color, glass and wood but we’ve expanded the color palette and materials selection too.”

    CORE expanded Bank of Georgetown’s bright green and white color palette with new porcelain tile colors, and added a variety of glass, metal and wood accents. New design elements are primarily in the lobbies (ground floor and executive), board room, and the top floor, which will be used as a break room. The perforated metal-plank ceilings, stainless steel panel-clad walls, green glass conference room and custom millwork are striking design features in both the lobbies. The board room has custom millwork elements and a media wall that can be covered with sliding full-height glass whiteboard panels.

    “Once again, CORE has done a great job of combining function and design as it renovated this old Georgetown landmark,” said Bank of Georgetown Chairman, President and CEO Mike Fitzgerald. “We are looking forward to both the efficiency and camaraderie that will come from uniting our headquarters staff in one location.”

    CORE has now designed Bank of Georgetown’s headquarters and seven bank locations including the Connecticut Avenue, Penn Quarter (E Street), U Street, Georgetown (Wisconsin & K), McLean, Friendship Heights, and Tysons Corner branches.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE is an internationally recognized firm that has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: The Mount Pleasant Library, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, The JBG Companies, Hilton Worldwide, Founding Farmers, Chef José Andrés, the Gould Property Company, Sweetgreen, Dean & Deluca, Marriott International, Porter Novelli, and numerous others.

    ###

    For more information contact:

    Amy Stortz Miller at CORE

    202-466-6116

    asm@coredc.com

  • Before And After: Making Mie N Yu Into Ri-Ra

    1.28.14

    CORE's Christopher Peli is interviewed by EATER DC. Read the article at dc.eater.com.

  • Ri Ra Opens Newest Location in Historic Georgetown

    1.23.14

    For Immediate Release

    Ri Ra Opens Newest Location in Historic Georgetown

    CORE strips 18th-Century building back to its roots to enhance Ri Ra design

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 23, 2014) – As the cold winter takes its hold on the Nation's Capital, residents and visitors can warm up at Ri Ra's newest location in the heart of Georgetown (3125 M Street, NW). Acting as Architect of Record, Georgetown-based architecture and design firm CORE worked with Ri Ra's Irish designers to create an authentic pub and whiskey bar that melds seamlessly with the building’s historic architecture.

    CORE opened up the two-story 11,718 SF space to exhibit the full volume of the building inside. Rather than thematically distinguishing itself from the exterior structure, the Ri Ra design – developed in partnership with Dublin-based O Donnell O Neill Design Associates – harmonizes with the historic building, almost as though it has always been there. The interior all-mahogany millwork, including the salvaged glass jewelry display cases, was salvaged from locations around Ireland, then meticulously reworked and installed throughout the restaurant.

    “Our goal was to take the building’s structure back to its original bones and build out a space that marries the historic architecture with the historic reclaimed Irish woodwork,” said CORE designer Christopher Peli. “There were exceptionally skilled craftsmen on the Ri Ra team. The new Ri Ra design is going to blow the doors off any other Irish pub out there.”

    In the west side of the building, the Pub features a reclaimed Irish mahogany bar as well as an old statue of St. Patrick in the back-bar. In the east side of the building is a large dining room with cozy nook booths downstairs, and a Whiskey Room upstairs. Beyond the Whiskey Room bar area is another large dining room with private party capabilities. There are also two stage areas for live music. Outside, the new black and gold Irish Pub signage, restored to the original building’s sign band location, compliments the historic ornament on the structure. The Whiskey Room’s exterior colors are based on traditional lime-wash of old Irish farmhouses with muted-green detailing.

    “CORE’s experienced architecture team were a pleasure to work with. Their knowledge of Georgetown’s planning and approval process was invaluable as we renovated this historic building,” said Ciaran Sheehan, Founder and Ri Ra Director of Development. “With their expertise in historic Washington architecture and renovation – as well as their first-hand knowledge of this building – it just made sense to have them on our team.”

    Ri Ra opened its new Georgetown location in late January 2014.

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

     ###

    For more information contact:

    Christopher Peli at CORE

    202-466-6116

    cjp@coredc.com

     

  • District Doughnut Coming to Barracks Row

    11.19.13

    CORE project District Doughnut is in the news. Read the article at washingtoncitypaper.com.

  • Millennial Motivations: How Millennials Have Impacted Hotels' Evolution

    11.14.13

    Read Kathleen Ngiam's interview with Curbed at dc.curbed.com.

  • CORE & Capella Garcia win Gold Key Grand Prize Award for Fine Dining Restaurant for minibar by Jose Andres

    11.13.13

    Read the announcement at boutiquedesign.com.

  • Be Right Burger Featured In The Retail Design Blog

    11.7.13

    Read the blog at retaildesignblog.net.

  • See CORE and Silver Diner Featured in The Washington Post

    10.23.13

    Read the article at washingtonpost.com.

  • More on the Georgetown Post Office in The Washington Business Journal

    10.22.13

    Read the article at bizjournals.com.

  • The Old Georgetown Post Office is Featured in Curbed

    10.21.13

    Read the article and see the renderings at curbed.com.

  • Del Campo in Esquire's "The Best New Restaurants 2013"

    10.8.13

    Core project Del Campo is on Esquire's list of twenty "astonishing new restaurants". Read about it at esquire.com.

  • CORE Wins AIADC Chapter Award for Mt. Pleasant Library

    10.4.13

    See the full list of winners at aiadc.com.

  • CORE Design for DC's West End Library Featured in the News

    9.18.13

    Read the articles at curbed.combizjournals.com and washingtoncitypaper.com.

  • CORE Projects to be Featured at AIA DC Library Event

    8.30.13

    Reinventing the Library: Washington's New Centers for Learning

    September 4 – 28, 2013

    In 2004, under the administration of then mayor Anthony Williams, members of the District of Columbia Public Library board toured the country to explore library systems and research current trends in innovative library design. The goal: to gather information and form ideas for the improvement of DC’s aging centers for learning. Ten years later, under the skilled management of Library Director Ginnie Cooper, the DC Public Library system has exceeded these expectations to become a visionary example in both form and function of what a 21st century library can be.

    This fall, the District Architecture Center is pleased to present the exhibition, Reinventing the Library: Washington’s New Centers for Learning. Organized by AIA|DC, the exhibition provides a glimpse of the DC Public Library system’s revitalization established by the Library Building Program. It explores how it is invigorating communities, how it is molding the city as a center for civic architecture, and how it is fashioning a new age of public service.

    Featured in the SIGAL Gallery will be twelve of the seventeen neighborhood libraries completed or underway since the Library Building Program began, a retrospective view of the system’s Carnegie Library, and a prospective outlook of the city’s central library – Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

    Please join us for the formal exhibition opening on September 10. RSVP here.

    Exhibitions Team:

    Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA, Exhibition and Graphic Design
    Bradley W. Johnson, Media Design
    Georgina Hain, Interpretive Text
    Katie Spencer, Text Editing

  • CORE's Directors of Hospitality Design are Featured in Bisnow

    8.23.13

    Read the article at bisnow.com.

  • The First Lady Visits Del Campo

    8.7.13

    Read about it at washingtonpost.com and washingtonian.com.

  • Meet the Curbed Young Guns Semifinalists: Allison C. Cooke

    8.1.13

    Full article at dc.curbed.com.

  • Hear CORE's own Allison Cooke and Christopher Peli on Foodie and the Beast!

    7.26.13

    Listen to the archived radio broadcast from Sunday July 28 at 11am EST at federalnewsradio.com.

  • Del Campo Featured in the July issue of HD Magazine

    7.17.13

    Read the article at hospitalitydesign.com.

  • CORE's Allison Cooke Named as one of Curbed's Young Guns Semifinalists for 2013

    7.15.13

    Read the announcement at curbed.com.

  • CORE's Kathleen Ngiam Discusses Design & Trends for HD Magazine

    7.1.13

    Read the article at hospitalitydesign.com.

  • The Fish Market and Pop's Ice Cream Receives Historic Alexandria Foundation 2013 Preservation Award

    6.28.13

    CORE project The Fish Market and Pop's Ice Cream receives prestigious award from the Historic Alexandria Foundation. Read more at localkicks.com and at The Alexandria Gazette (PDF version here).

  • Shutters Bar & Kitchen Opens at Tysons Corner Hotel

    5.16.13

    Marriott International announces the new CORE-designed Shutters Bar & Kitchen. Read the article at finance.yahoo.com.

    See more coverage at eater.dc.com.

  • Tysons Corner Marriott Announces New Shutters Restaurant

    5.15.13

    For immediate release

    Tysons Corner Marriott announces new Shutters restaurant

    Architects at CORE convert restaurant into a stylish all-day social/business hub

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 15, 2013) – Guests at the Tysons Corner Marriott have more incentive to dine in the hotel now that the newly renovated and renamed Shutters Bar & Kitchen restaurant has opened. CORE, a prominent DC-based architecture firm with award-winning hotel and restaurant design practices, converted the former restaurant into an all-day social and business hub for hotel guests and visitors. CORE began to redevelop the 4500 SF front-of-house space in February 2012, construction started in November, and Shutters Bar & Kitchen opened in late March 2013.

    “The hotel owners chose to bring CORE into this project because our team understood their vision,” said CORE Hospitality Design Director Allison Cooke. “We understood that Shutters Bar & Kitchen had to accommodate guests at any time of day. It is a vibrant place to have breakfast, then develops into an inviting lounge in the late afternoon, and becomes the hotel’s bustling social and business hub at night. Now it’s the perfect place to unwind, grab a bite, sip a cocktail and meet up with friends or business colleagues.”

    Tysons Corner Marriott wanted to entice guests to eat and socialize in the hotel, rather than go elsewhere. CORE removed the long wall that blocked the restaurant frontage from the lobby, as well as a row of booths and interior walls to create an open vista to the back of the space and the new dramatically-lit bar. Hotel guests also have a view into the space coming down from their rooms off of the elevator lobby.

    “Having the lobby and restaurant flow together is a major trend we’re seeing in hotel public-space design,” said CORE’s head restaurant designer Allison Cooke. “It adds profit for hoteliers when they can entice guests to stay onsite to dine and drink as opposed to going somewhere else. All our energy was focused on creating cues that draw your attention from the lobby straight into the restaurant.”

    The restaurant’s name is inspired by the décor, as shutters hang from the ceiling in shifting planes that blur the line between lobby and restaurant. The shutter orientation also alternates so that the pattern changes as patrons enter the space, creating an active feeling. The two 25’ long custom truss light fixtures are punctuated with over 50 mercury dipped lamps and draw your eye back to the bar. Even the back bar itself glows as a beacon through the use of amber glass and mirror.

    The hotel also wanted guests to enjoy spending more time relaxing in the public spaces rather than their rooms. To do this, CORE created different levels of public and private space, and multi-use interactivity zones, that filter from the lobby all the way back to the bar area. The furnishings are laid out to make the space feel open and grand, but also create intimate alcoves and seating types for any occasion. For example, the Greatroom has communal areas that enable plug-in access for social working and collaboration. There is also table-top booth seating with televisions mounted above the tables so that small groups can have a drink and/or dine while watching their favorite shows or sports events.

    CORE also gave the bar an adaptable design so it could serve guests all day. For breakfast, the back-bar cabinets (made of amber-colored textured glass) remain closed and are back illuminated. Once the bar opens, the mirror-backed cabinets are opened and the alcohol is accessible. The beer taps are discreetly mounted below the bar so they are not visible during breakfast. The bar top also has power to enable business travelers to work at all times.

    The new restaurant is completely opened up, and light oak floors and shutters brighten the space while contrasting with dark columns and richly textured fabrics. The bar top is a recycled amber and brown slumped glass that has rich polished surface. All of the upholstery fabrics have woven textures and a pleasing neutral palette. One of the semicircle booths incorporates a leather-strapping detail with contrast stitching. Copper-topped tables add warmth and patina to the overall feel, while tall teal wing-back chairs add a dramatic accent in the lobby.

    “The overall feel of the space is warm and inviting, and has such a beautiful ambient glow,” said Cooke. “I really think it will encourage guests to sit down and stay a while, whether they are there for work or play.”

    CORE’s other recent hotel design work includes the renovation the DoubleTree by Hilton-Crystal City’s porte cochere, lobby and Skydome Lounge, as well as the development of Marriott Courtyard’s national lobby prototype.

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • District Taco Opens on Capitol Hill

    5.1.13

    For immediate release

     

    District Taco Opens on Capitol Hill

    Architecture firm CORE designs second DC location of Yucatan-inspired taqueria

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (MAY 1, 2013)—Capitol Hill staffers and residents can now enjoy District Taco’s fresh Mexican cuisine because the local restaurant chainlet has opened its second DC location at 656 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE near the Eastern Market Metro. Once again, District Taco’s owners Osiris Hoil and Marc Wallace turned to CORE, a prominent Georgetown-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning hospitality design practice, to create an authentic taqueria where guests can watch as their food is prepared.

    District Taco’s design scheme is low-fi, casual, and welcoming: honey-colored woods, textured stainless steel, distressed red-painted wood planks, and exposed brick meld with a vibrant overlay of golden yellow and green accents. Rough-hewn oak planking surrounds the point-of-sale, the concrete floors are painted grey, and the ceiling remains exposed. A length of red rain gutter in the ceiling adds a playful element that visually guides guests around the salsa bar and into the seating zone.

    “Based on our experience with District Taco’s F Street location, we wanted to replicate the restaurant’s unique “Yucatan style” with an improved layout that is more aligned with their prototype design,” said lead project designer Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP. “F Street is such a successful location, although the building’s layout was not ideal for planning their original concept in terms of layout and flow. The Capitol Hill location’s rectangular shape fits their prototype perfectly, so the flow is greatly improved and the space feels very open.”

    The Capitol Hill location is one-level and just over 2,500 square feet. Although the fresh made-to-order food preparation is the main focus of the design, the large space enabled CORE to make the salsa bar a visual focal point too. “The freestanding salsa bar is a ‘low-fi’ design element that keeps the space feeling casual,” said Cooke. “The bar is clad in shipping crates – recycled from District Taco’s stores and carts – and a custom light fixture made from plastic milk crates hangs overhead. CORE also introduced a bar-height table, booths and a counter at the window to offer guests more types of seating.”

    “We are thrilled to be welcoming District Taco fans and new customers to our latest location on Capitol Hill,” said District Taco’s co-owner Osiris Hoil. “Our fresh, simple food and beautiful new location will draw them in – and our delicious food and the connection they make with our friendly staff will bring them back again and again,” said Hoil. District Taco’s DC menu will offer its well-recognized taco, burrito and quesadilla offerings (http://media.districttaco.com/paper-menu.pdf) and will be open daily from 7am to 10pm.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

     

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • 2013 Inform Awards: A Delightful Dozen

    4.30.13

    Our very own Christopher Peli wins an AIA Inform Award for the domes made from a boat in Chef Jose Andres' minibar. Read all about it at readinform.com.

  • A Look at the Estancia-Inspired Del Campo, Now Open

    4.24.13

    EATER DC's Missy Frederick reports on CORE-designed Del Campo. Read the article at dc.eater.com.

  • Chef Victor Albisu’s Elegant South American Grill Del Campo Opens

    4.19.13

    For immediate release


    Chef Victor Albisu’s elegant South American grill Del Campo opens 

    CORE brings Pampas-inspired restaurant design to Chinatown

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 19, 2013) – Washingtonians can now dine at Chef Victor Albisu’s much anticipated South American grill Del Campo located in the Chinatown neighborhood at 777 I Street NW. Working with CORE, the Georgetown based architecture and design firm, Chef Albisu has created an atmosphere mixing the feel of the “estancias” (or large country homes) found in the Argentine countryside with the contemporary scene in modern South American cities.

    “Chef Albisu wanted Del Campo to feel like a suit jacket paired with torn jeans,” said CORE designer Allison Cooke. “There’s a feeling of relaxed luxury that comes across in the design. It’s warm and approachable yet links to the polo-playing, wine-making countryside culture of South America.” To bring this concept to life, CORE worked with Atreus Works and Shelter Studios, blending casual elegance with an earthy color palette.

    As guests enter Del Campo, they will see the Del Campo logo branded into the leather-wrapped wine station where the extensive wine collection is on display. A sommelier will decant wines at the station and engage guests as they enter the restaurant. Connected to the wine station is the Asado (meaning “roast”) Bar where Chef Albisu and his asadors will work the grill and interact with guests. If the Asado Bar is full, guests can sit at tables along the 8-foot long, high wood bench to sample the tasting menu and watch the bar scene.

    A dramatic set of vintage crystal chandeliers, hanging from burlap-wrapped chains, visually connects the front dining room to the bar area. A warm palette of smoky and blond woods plays off the neutral concrete wall finish in the front dining and bar spaces. An oversized antique mirror – hung behind the back bar to open up the space – contrasts with metal and leather sling-back barstools for an edgy touch. Classic South American motifs are laser cut onto the espresso-stained wood paneling on either side of the back bar. Lounge seating faces the bar to create an intimate zone.

    The entire dining space has dark smoked-oak flooring. The side dining area features a textured-concrete wall with a hand-painted scroll motif that sits above secluded chocolate-brown velvet u-shaped booths. Small touches, like burlap and hand-woven table runners, lend a casual feel, and corduroy and velvet-upholstered benches comfortably intermingle with the worn-leather dining chairs. Special South-American objects, such as a saddle draped with textiles and antique, hand-carved cedar doors, add a museum-like quality to the space. The end result is authentic and casual with a touch of refined luxury.

    “The design might sound elaborate but the principal décor has been kept to a minimum although we used a lot of textures, the overall feel of the space is very clean and neutral,” said Cooke.

    An additional rear dining room is elevated on a platform to give guests a view of the restaurant and can double as an extended private-dining area. Three mercury-glass chandeliers also hang above the elevated dining space.

    “The mercury-glass chandeliers reflect light and add sparkle to the rear dining room in a similar way to the crystal chandeliers and antique mirrors in the front dining room and bar,” said Cooke. “It’s a beautiful way to create visual impact without repeating the same design element.”

     

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

     

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

     

  • CORE and Bank Of Georgetown in The Washington Post

    3.25.13

    CORE is mentioned in the Washington Post's article on the Bank of Georgetown. Read it at washingtonpost.com.

  • There's No Place Like Home — Except These Restaurants

    3.22.13

    CORE's Allison Cooke is interviewed by EATER DC. Read the article at dc.eater.com.

  • Bank Of Georgetown Opens Newest Location in Chevy Chase

    2.28.13

    For immediate release

     

    Bank of Georgetown Opens Newest Location in Chevy Chase

    Architecture firm CORE transforms hair salon into modern retail-style bank

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (FEBRUARY 28, 2013) — Bank of Georgetown has opened its second Maryland branch – and ninth location – on Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase. CORE, a prominent DC-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning base-build and retail design practice, designed the new bank at 5410 Wisconsin Avenue, as well as five other Bank of Georgetown branches throughout the Washington area.

    5410 Wisconsin Avenue is a very visible location and one of the few standalone buildings left on Wisconsin Avenue. Previously a hair salon that had been a bank before that, the original two-floor building had been built in the 1950s and greatly modified over time. CORE gutted the interior to create the open, clean look that is Bank of Georgetown’s signature image. The 3,450 square foot project was completed in 4 months.

    “This was a design challenge because we had to remove decades of renovations and additions to achieve the open, modern feel that Bank of Georgetown customers expect,” said CORE project architect, Ron Ngiam.

    The new bank has two entries on separate levels: the ground floor entry facing Wisconsin Avenue leads into the retail banking area; and the lower level entrance on Willard Avenue leads to the lending office with Branch access. There are ATMs on both levels.

    “Bank of Georgetown wants its branches to feel like welcoming retail stores rather than cold, generic banks – so our design reflects that,” said Ngiam. “Bank staff also want to meet customers and shake their hands rather than sit hidden behind solid walls and partitions. That’s why we use low, translucent partitions in the retail area and glass walls and doors in the meeting rooms. We incorporate as much transparency into the design as we can.”

    CORE combined a number of design elements to create the Bank of Georgetown brand look including: photo “grass” plastic laminate, exterior-grade metal panels, European steam beech, Italian floor tile, Sistemalux light fixtures, and countertops by Lightblocks. The Chevy Chase branch also has a media wall along the windows to bring light and motion in the retail space.

    “We like to work with CORE’s architects and retail design team because Bank of Georgetown has a strong corporate identity – and CORE works hard to maintain that ‘look and feel’ every time they design for us,” said Bank of Georgetown CEO Mike Fitzgerald.

    CORE has now designed six Bank of Georgetown locations including the Connecticut Avenue, Penn Quarter (E Street), U Street Ellington Plaza, Bethesda, and Tysons Corner branches.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE is an internationally recognized firm that has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, and numerous others.

     

    For more information contact:

    Ron Ngiam at CORE

    202-466-6116

    rsn@coredc.com

  • Meet The Minds Behind Restaurant Design - Allison Cooke

    2.22.13

    Read a Q&A with CORE's own Allison Cooke at hospitalitydesign.com.

  • How a Former Jazz Saloon Became a Luxury Clothing Store

    2.15.13

    Read about CORE's redesign of Georgetown's old Saloun at dc.curbed.com.

  • Barmini is Unveiled!

    2.5.13

    Read about it at dc.curbed.com and dc.eater.com.

  • Lifestyle Brand Gant Opens Latest Store in Washington, Dc

    1.18.13

    For immediate release

     

    Lifestyle Brand Gant opens latest store in Washington, DC

    Georgetown-based architecture firm CORE picked to design Gant’s newest U.S. location

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (JANUARY 18, 2013) — DC-area fashionistas are now buying the latest clothing and accessories at Gant's newest store in Georgetown (Washington, DC). The global premium lifestyle brand chose CORE, a prominent DC-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning base-build practice, to consult and execute the corporate design of the store located at 3239 MStreet NW, Washington, DC.

    Built in 1899, the one-story building has 2,000 SF of retail space. “This long, narrow building has a lot of history, so we combined the classic architectural elements with modern design details to highlight the Gant merchandise,” said Dave Cheney, the project manager at CORE. “As homage to the building’s former tenant – the jazz bar and lounge Saloun – we even salvaged places where performers’ and patron's names had been hand-painted onto the walls.”

    Outside, CORE preserved much of the building’s original brick façade and cornice molding while incorporating more glass to let in natural light and create a retail storefront, and freshly-painted era-appropriate wood trim. Inside, CORE maintained much of the exposed red-brick structure and some plaster walls. They implemented a muted color scheme that includes rough-hewn wood floors, neutral cabinetry/millwork, and contrasting mid-century modern furniture to enhance the original features.

    “Suspended lighting highlights every part of the long, narrow space and white subway tile on the walls bounces the light around the store,” said Cheney. “At the front of the store, we suspended a white, 60-foot long soffit from the ceiling to draw customers in from the main entrance. The soffit will glow with light and additional lighting will showcase the clothing line.”

    Demolition and construction began in July of 2012.  This new Gant location, the eighth store to open in the United States, opened in November 2012.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE is an internationally recognized firm that has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, and numerous others.

    For more information contact:

    David Cheney at CORE

    202-466-6116

    drc@coredc.com

  • Silver Boasts American Bistro Food, Diner Theme

    12.14.12

    See Core's design concept and renderings for new "Silver" restaurant at bizjournals.com.

  • See What Jose Andres’s Newly-Reopened Minibar Looks Like

    11.12.12

    Minibar is in the Washington Post's Going Out Guide. Read the article at washingtonpost.com.

  • Reinvented ‘minibar by José Andrés’ Opens

    11.12.12

    For immediate release

     

    Reinvented ‘minibar by José Andrés’ Opens

     

    CORE collaborates with Barcelona design firm Capella Garcia

    to bring latest ThinkFoodGroup project to Washington, DC

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (NOVEMBER 2012)—More DC food enthusiasts will have a chance to savor Chef José Andrés’ minibar menu because the restaurant is now a little less mini. CORE, a prominent Georgetown-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning hospitality design practice, acted as Architect of Record on the minibar by José Andrés build-out. CORE collaborated and executed the restaurant design envisioned by renowned Spanish architect – and Chef José Andrés’ good friend – Juli Capella. The new minibar is located at 855 E Street in northwest Washington, DC.

    “We were thrilled when ThinkFoodGroup chose CORE to collaborate with Juli Capella on minibar,” said lead project designer Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP. “Time zone differences and an aggressive project timeline made this a real challenge, but working with Juli and the ThinkFoodGroup team was such a friendly and immensely inspiring experience – much like minibar’s cuisine.” CORE worked with general contractor Forrester (Forrester) Construction Company to complete minibar, Forrester’s fifth ThinkFoodGroup project. 

    The minibar layout breaks the 3,140 square foot space into three main areas: the kitchen/food preparation area, dining and lounge areas. The restaurant has a fresh, neutral, and light backdrop that contrasts with bold, whimsical European accents.

    “minibar by José Andrés is designed to be an innovative and memorable dining experience in a modern yet playful atmosphere,” said Rob Wilder, CEO of Think Food Group. “CORE, an accomplished DC architecture team, provided Juli with the support needed to bring his concept design to life - keeping our timeline and managing local DC standards.”

    As soon as restaurant guests enter minibar by José Andrés, they are welcomed and encouraged to enjoy aperitifs in a glamorous lounge area covered with white-washed woods floors and shimmering metal-bead curtains. In the dining area, warm oak countertops and two gold “domes” are suspended over the counters sheltering the guest throughout the meal – providing a relaxed, intimate and sophisticated atmosphere. The domes are an example of how CORE brought Juli Capella’s vision to reality, by sourcing a local boat-builder, Bandy Boats, who cut the domes from old boat hulls. “It was really the only feasible way to build these given our timeframe,” said CORE’s project architect Christopher Peli.

    Other unique décor elements throughout the space include a richly-stained walnut table flanked by a custom-made round infinity mirror; Jaime Hayon couches; Cerruti Baleri furniture such as a “marble” armchair, “apple” poufs, and a “cactus” sofa covered in photo-realistic fabric; white-washed cement wallpaper, and cut-out Ligne Roset wall sconces.

    “We are excited to be part of creating this great experience,” adds Cooke, “which will surely soon be known as one of the best dining destinations of the world.”

    Recognized as one of the most sought-after reservations in the country, minibar’s menu features a series of roughly 20 inspired and playful avant-garde dishes, which helped garner Andrés the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” in America prize last year.

    Minibar re-opened on November 7th and will serve two, 12-person seatings a night, Tuesday through Saturday. Interested patrons can make dinner reservations one month in advance by emailing reserve@minibarbyjoseandres.com. For more information about minibar, visit www.minibarbyjoseandres.com.

     

    About CORE

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

     

    About ThinkFoodGroup

    ThinkFoodGroup, founded by award-winning chef José Andrés and his partner Rob Wilder, is the creative team responsible for renowned dining concepts in Washington, DC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami including minibar by josé andrés, Jaleo at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills and South Beach. In December 2012, ThinkFoodGroup will present its first dining outside the continental US at the new Dorado Beach, Ritz Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico. ThinkFoodGroup oversees all of the creative and educational efforts for José Andrés, an internationally recognized culinary innovator, passionate advocate for food and hunger issues, author, educator, and television personality. He was recently named on the “Time 100” list of most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. Often credited with creating the “Spanish food boom” in America, Andrés is Dean of the Spanish Studies program at the International Culinary Center, the first and only program of its kind in the United States.  Andrés can be seen on PBS as host and executive producer of Made in Spain. His cookbooks include Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America. Andrés also teaches “Science and Cooking” at Harvard and soon he will also teach a food course at George Washington University. In late 2010, José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup launched World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit which aims to feed and empower vulnerable people in humanitarian crises around the world.  For more information, visit www.thinkfoodgroup.com.

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com


  • District Taco to Open on Capitol Hill Early Next Year

    11.5.12

    The Washington Post reports on District Taco's next Core-designed location. Read the article at washingtonpost.com.

  • Wasabi Modern Japanese Cuisine Opens Newest Location in Orlando, Fl

    10.15.12

     

     

    For immediate release

     

     

    Wasabi Modern Japanese Cuisine opens newest location in Orlando, FL

    Architecture/design firm CORE amps up Japanese restaurant design for Orlando market

     

    WASHINGTON, DC (OCTOBER 15, 2012)—Eating in the food court at a shopping mall is typically uninspiring, but at The Florida Mall in Orlando (FL), there is a new modern-Japanese restaurant that is showing its guests that fast-casual sushi can be stylish and fun – as well as delicious. The new 2,375 square foot-restaurant was built in an open atrium at The Florida Mall. CORE, a prominent DC-based architect/design firm with a strong hospitality design practice, created both the design for this latest Wasabi Modern Japanese Cuisine (Wasabi) location and Wasabi’s prototype design in the Natick Collection mall in Massachusetts.

    Wasabi offers an interactive dining experience where guests select their menu items from a Kaiten-style sushi display on conveyor belts. “After CORE created Wasabi’s prototype design in Massachusetts, we wanted to keep the same aesthetic while making this high-profile ‘flagship’ location even more appealing to the vibrant Orlando market,” said CORE’s lead project designer Daniel Chapman, LEED AP. “Being so close to Disney World, we wanted the brand identity to be bright and bold.”

    Bright, bold reds, blues, greens, and yellows – all pulled from Wasabi’s signature color-swirl logo – are prominent in the restaurant’s upholstery, countertops, canopy, acrylic and glass panels, and marketing elements. These colors are accents against the more neutral stainless steel, hickory wood, and black-gloss millwork.

    CORE worked with Wasabi’s owner Bo Davis to create bold, new signature elements to enhance the brand’s visibility. “Increasing the visibility of the Wasabi brand identity was a high priority,” said Wasabi owner Bo Davis. “Wasabi is proud to be in Orlando and we want to make a bold statement that residents and visitors will notice.”

    CORE also incorporated Wasabi’s swirl logo and bright colors into the architecture. New design elements included:

    • A canopy structure over the kitchen and overhead signage at the entry that mimic an organic 'tree' structure with brightly colored blue, yellow, and green 'leaf' panels;

    • The Wasabi color-swirl logo placed over a back-painted glass panel that is back-lit with LED panels that are programmed to create a wave-like light rhythm to the glass;

    • Striped booth upholstery that repeats the colors from the swirl logo;

    • Host desk and service stations that create a more unified aesthetic; and

    • Marketing graphics that will be applied and swapped out throughout the seasons.

    Wasabi Modern Japanese Cuisine at The Florida Mall began serving guests in late September and officially opened in mid-October.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, Georgetown Cupcake, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

     

    For more information:

    Daniel Chapman

    202-466-6116

    dcc@coredc.com

  • 600 Mass Ave in DCmud

    9.27.12

    Read the article at dcmud.com.

  • Construction Begins on Women’s Transitional Housing Facility

    9.17.12

    For immediate release

      

    Construction begins on Women’s Transitional Housing Facility,

    First New DHS Building in 20 years

     

    Architecture firm CORE combines old structure, new materials to create calm, safe environment for future residents and staff

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (SEPTEMBER 17, 2012)—Today the DC Department of Human Services (DHS) broke ground on the Women’s Transitional Housing Facility – the DHS’ first new facility in 20 years. CORE, a prominent DC-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning base build practice, designed the new transitional housing facility that will be located at 611 N Street NW, Washington, DC (in the Shaw neighborhood just north of the Washington Convention Center and new O Street Market).

    The DC DHS awarded this $6-million design project in 2009. “Given the needs of this facility’s future residents, we’ve worked hard to create a comfortable, modern space where everyone can feel safe and secure,” said Dale Stewart, the project principal at CORE.

    Previously a 1970s police station, CORE has kept most of the original concrete column and beam structure and re-used most of the brick skin, while incorporating new features and materials so that the new building will meet Gold LEED standards. An Exterior Insulated Finish System (i.e. cement over rigid insulation) will cover the majority of the new exterior while the original bricks will be part of a feature-wall in the sunken entrance courtyard.

    “Everything – from the re-use of existing structure, to the new green roofs for storm water management, to the amount of daylight that enters every room – makes this building highly sustainable and liveable,” said Stewart. AIA DC recognized this project’s innovative design with an “Unbuilt Award” (Honor Award) in 2010.

    CORE will release details about the facility’s interior functionality and design once the project nears completion. Allen & Shariff (MEP), Oculus (Landscaping), Rathgeber-Goss (Structural) and Wiles Mensch (Civil) are also working on the project with CORE. New Endeavors by Women (http://www.newendeavorsbywomen.org/) will manage the facility once it opens.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE is an internationally recognized firm that has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, and numerous others.

    For more information contact:

    Dean Hutchison at CORE

    202-466-6116

    cdh@coredc.com

  • Renovated and Expanded Mt. Pleasant Library Reopens to Great Acclaim

    9.16.12

    TheInTowner has a good write-up of the Mt. Pleasant renovation. Read the article at intowner.com.

  • Renovated, Expanded Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library Reopens

    9.12.12

      Renovated, Expanded Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library Reopens

    Local DC architects honor historic building while incorporating essential upgrades


    WASHINGTON, D.C. (SEPTEMBER 2012)—CORE, a prominent Georgetown-based architecture and design firm, today announced the completion of its latest design: the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library. This larger, upgraded library and community-gathering space, at 3160 16th Street, NW (with the entrance on Lamont Street), opened to the public on September 12, 2012.

    The DC Public Library (DCPL) awarded this $8 million project in 2008 to CORE and its New-York-based library design collaborator HMA2. “As a DC-based architecture firm, we were honored to lead the renovation and expansion of the Mount Pleasant library,” said Dale Stewart, the lead project architect and a principal at CORE. “We always enjoy working with the DC Public Library and although this project was challenging, we can’t wait to see DC residents enjoying their new library space.”

    The historic building’s exterior had been renovated in the last decade so it was left largely untouched. However, the interior changed significantly so that DCPL could dedicate the entire historic building to public library programs. The main level had a two-story book stack system with very low ceilings that did not meet today's building codes. The upper level was half-filled with staff offices. The lower level housed the mechanical systems, a low-ceilinged meeting room and book storage.

    The library has now been expanded from 18,000 to 25,000 square feet, has seating for more than 200 people, and a 100-person meeting room. The interior features new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire suppression systems. Visitors also benefit from high speed Internet access, new computers, as well as physical and digital media.

    The new addition includes a two-story, sky-lit entry hall, meeting room, staff offices, mechanical and electrical spaces and restrooms. The sideyard of the building – that was a driveway – is now the entry garden.

    “The two-story, sky-lit entry hall is the most striking part of the new library’s design because visitors can see the connection between old and new,” said Stewart. “We want visitors to feel that they have entered a space that retains the historic, grand qualities of the existing library yet exposes parts of the building that they never were able to experience before.”

    “And when visitors move from the entry hall into the existing library, we want them to feel as though they have entered a cozy space that encourages contemplation and engagement with the library services.”

    Improving building circulation, access

    The staircase in the existing building was not code-compliant as it was designed only to give the librarians, but not the public, access to books. An earlier renovation had added an elevator within the historic reading room that blocked three windows, and an accessibility ramp that brought people down to the unstaffed basement where they could take an elevator back up to the main floor of the library.

    To remedy these issues, all of these interventions were removed, and an exit-only staircase was added in the existing building. The new entry hall contains all of the public vertical circulation: a monumental staircase in the entry hall leading to a second-floor balcony; a bridge to the existing building; and an elevator.

    Outside, CORE added a gently sloping ramp through the side garden to the sky-lit entry hall. The historic children's staircase – originally used for access to the children’s library but of late, closed to public use – is now a main way into the library’s new entry hall and a central feature of the newly-landscaped garden.

    Expanding spaces for children, restoring historic details

    The Mount Pleasant library historically had one of DC’s busiest children’s story times so CORE made the children's spaces larger than most libraries’ to accommodate this popular program. The entire second floor of the existing library is now dedicated to the children's program. The historic murals by Aurelius Battaglia will be restored to become the centerpiece of the children's floor.

    All of the perimeter wood shelving, benches and fireplaces are being restored and reinstalled in the historic part of the library. The wood-framed columns and corniced beams are being refurbished to become a major feature of the interior. Additionally, the previous circulation desk has been salvaged and pieces of it are being used in the new circulation desk.

    Outside, the materials on the addition are a modern interpretation of those on the historic building. The historic building is grey-tan limestone with a red terra cotta-tiled roof. To evoke the existing limestone, modern, tan and grey terra cotta panels clad the base of the new building. Red terra cotta panels at the top of the building evoke the old red terra cotta roof. Library visitors in the entry hall find themselves between both the old and new exteriors.

    The building is designed to meet LEED Gold standards. The features that contribute to this standard include: reuse of the existing building materials within, efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, use of renewable and local materials, improved stormwater management systems, and connections to the local community and transportation systems.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE is an internationally recognized firm that has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, and numerous others.

     

    For more information contact CORE:

    Dean Hutchison

    202-466-6116

    cdh@coredc.com

  • Doubletree Hotel in Crystal City Redesigned by Core

    8.21.12

    Washington Business Journal covers the DoubleTree Hilton redesign. Read the article at bizjournals.com.

  • The Adaptive Reuse Behind Crystal City's DoubleTree Hotel

    8.21.12

    More on the DoubleTree renovation at DC Curbed. Read the article at curbed.com.

  • Modern Japanese Restaurant Concept Launches in Massachusetts

    8.5.12

    For immediate release

     

    Modern Japanese restaurant concept launches in Massachusetts

    Wasabi:  by CORE architecture + design


    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AUGUST 2011)—Restaurants have long been trying to differentiate themselves by creating an unforgettable experience for diners. A new Japanese restaurant is luring them with interactive dining, where guests select their menu items from a Kaiten-style sushi display on conveyor belts. CORE architecture + design, a prominent Georgetown-based firm with a strong hospitality design practice, announces its latest restaurant design: Wasabi Modern Japanese Cuisine (Wasabi). CORE was tasked with re-imagining the DC-based, fast-casual sushi restaurant. The new design has become the prototype for a nationwide rollout. The pilot location opened on August 5 at the Natick Collection in Natick, Massachusetts.

    “We were particularly excited at the opportunity to bring Wasabi’s architectural concept in line with its vibrant brand identity,” said Lead Designer Daniel Chapman, LEED AP. “As with any prototype design, the challenge is not knowing where future Wasabi sites will be. The design had to both contain itself and stand out: in this case within a high-end, sophisticated mall environment. Referencing traditional and contemporary Japanese palettes, we used careful color placement and clean, fluid forms to create a distinct destination.”

    The new restaurant anchors one end of the Natick Collection shopping mall and sits in the space as a freestanding, kinetic sculpture. It activates a once sleepy corridor space, creating a captivating visual. The design is bold, vibrant, and modern, complementing nearby high-end tenants such as the Apple store and Neiman Marcus. When viewed from the surrounding mezzanine level, undulating acrylic waves cleverly conceal the less desirable sightline to food preparation.

    A dining counter and booth seating radiate from the U-shaped conveyor belt, creating a culinary theater in the round. Light wood, glossy black surfaces, dot matrix upholstery, and electric green chairs give the space graphic punch and high tech appeal.

    Wasabi Founder and President Bo Davis studied at the London Business School and the George Washington University. He originally tested his Wasabi concept with its first location in Washington DC. The philosophy is to offer the finest traditional sushi and creative alternatives with a focus on visual presentation in a fast-casual setting. With the reimagined design by CORE, Davis intends to open at least four new locations each year. Los Angeles is his next target, along with various units in the Mid-Atlantic.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area.

    An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, Georgetown Cupcake, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

    For more information contact Allison Cooke at CORE:

    202-466-6116 or acc@coredc.com

    or Daniel Chapman: dcc@coredc.com

  • Renovated Mt. Pleasant Public Library Opens in September

    7.30.12

    The Core-designed Mt. Pleasant Library renovation project is featured in dcist. Read the article at dcist.com.

  • Sugo Cicchetti Featured in Best Bites

    6.2.12

    CORE-designed Sugo Cicchetti is featured in Washingtonian's Best Bites blog. Read the article at washingtonian.com.

  • Summer Bragging Rights Belong to Rosedale

    5.24.12

    Our Rosedale Community Center project gets written up in Curbed. Read the article at dc.curbed.com.

  • District Taco Finally Moves to Washington, DC

    5.11.12

    For immediate release

     

    District Taco finally moves to Washington, DC

    DC Architecture firm CORE designs authentic Yucatan-inspired taqueria

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (MAY 2012)—If you are a DC foodie who loves District Taco’s fresh Mexican cuisine, you no longer have to scour downtown for the truck (or venture into Virginia) for your next taco fix because District Taco finally has a permanent DC location. Located at 1309 F Street, NW near Metro Center, District Taco’s first DC location will open its doors in mid-May. CORE, a prominent Georgetown-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning hospitality design practice, worked closely with District Taco’s owners Osiris Hoil and Marc Wallace to create an authentic taqueria where guests can watch as their food is prepared.

    “Osiris and Marc wanted us to create a warm-yet-modern eatery that you might find if you were walking down a small-town street on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula,” said lead project designer Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP. “It needed to be authentic – not a Mexican-themed restaurant.”

    The restaurant’s design scheme combines a neutral background – honey-colored distressed woods, charcoal-grey cement board and worn zinc – with a vibrant overlay of golden yellow, bright red and green. Reclaimed oak planking surrounds the point-of-sale, and neutral ceramic and porcelain tiles cover the floors.

    “We brought in CORE because we wanted a well-designed space that incorporated unique elements that reflect my Yucatan heritage,” said District Taco’s co-owner Osiris Hoil. “For example, in the Yucatan, we often use bottle caps instead of washers on exposed bolts so we do that. In the bathroom, there are Mexican newspapers on the walls. And when you are given a number for your order, you'll get a lotteria ticket.”

    The location is just under 3,000 square feet and has a main level, mezzanine and basement. On the main floor, guests can see the grilling area while they queue on the main level. “The transparency of the kitchen – and the way the whole space reflects District Taco’s business and family story – was an essential part of the design,” said Cooke. The basement is dedicated to preparing fresh salsas and guacamole. The mezzanine is for overflow seating.

    “Our food is fresh, simple and healthy so it’s very important that customers can see their food being prepared – it gives them a personal connection to the staff and place,” said Hoil. District Taco’s DC menu will offer its well-recognized taco, burrito and quesadilla offerings (http://media.districttaco.com/paper-menu.pdf) and will be open daily from 7am to 10pm.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • Visit Core in the May Issue of Architect Magazine

    5.7.12

    CORE is featured in the May issue of Architect - The Magazine of the American Institute of Architects. Read the article at architectmagazine.com.

  • Design dollars: Restaurants go all out for the right look

    5.4.12

    CORE designer Allison Cooke is quoted in the Washington Business Journal. Read the article at bizjournals.com.

  • Highly-Anticipated Italian Eatery Sugo Cicchetti Opens May 1

    5.1.12

    For immediate release

     

    Highly-anticipated Italian eatery Sugo Cicchetti opens May 1

    DC Architecture firm CORE designed Italian Grandmother’s kitchen with modern twist

     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (MAY 2012)—The owners of the popular Cava Mezze restaurants have opened a new Italian eatery for Potomac and Rockville residents to enjoy. The highly-anticipated Sugo Cicchetti (Sugo) was designed by CORE, a prominent Georgetown-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning hospitality design practice. CORE also designed Cava Mezze in Bethesda and Cava in Clarendon. Sugo, located at 12505 Park Potomac Avenue in Potomac, Maryland, will open its doors on May 1.

    “CORE’s design challenge was to turn an austere office building – into a warm, cozy kitchen that an Italian Grandmother would be proud to serve you in,” said lead project designer Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP.

    The 3245-square foot space was an open room that CORE divided into multiple food and beverage zones. In the area closest to the entry, there is a dining room that fronts a partially-open kitchen featuring the preparation of their pizzas in the brick-clad corner pizza oven. A long communal table anchors this casual dining area. There is a segmented counter in the center of the restaurant, with a pizza bar for patrons to interact with chefs and a charcuterie display case that visually transition into the full-service bar. The far side of the restaurant, which flanks the bar, includes a drink ledge for bar patrons and additional dining space.

    Sugo’s dining and bar space were carefully delineated so that families (with children) and other diners could comfortably share the space with bar patrons. “The CORE team has created award-winning restaurant designs for us in the past so we brought them in to make sure that this new Italian concept was distinctive too,” said Sugo’s co-owner Ted Xenohristos. Xenohristos is one of the owners of the DC-area Cava Mezze Grills and Cava restaurants. The owners of the Mamma Lucia’s pizza chain also invested in Sugo.

    Warm red, sepia and gray tones repeat around the restaurant in the brick pizza oven, intricate broken-tile wall designs, and polished-concrete bar tops and floors. Textured glass separates the entry vestibule and bar from the dining areas while a sea of opaque glass-globe lights repeat across the ceiling and are a distinguishing feature in the storefront to passersby. Wood, also a key design element, appears as trusswork in the entry vestibule, table tops with distressed red stripes, and multi-toned paneling that wraps around the pizza kitchen, bar and serving stations.

    Sugo will offer lunch and dinner service. Its varied menu includes classic oven-fired pizza, meatballs and pasta, as well as innovative small plates and desserts.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Blackjack, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

    For more information contact:

    Allison Cooke at CORE

    202-466-6116

    acc@coredc.com

  • CORE Design Prototype Featured in Washington Post Business

    4.26.12

    Our Marriott Courtyard Hotels prototype design appears in Washington Post Business. Read the article at washingtonpost.com.

  • Health-Focused Juice Joint Café Gets an Update from CORE

    3.27.12

    For immediate release


    Health-focused Juice Joint Café gets an update from CORE

    The newly expanded design integrates bold colors with fresh ingredients

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (MARCH 2012)—As healthy eating becomes a greater topic of interest, busy people are seeking fresh, natural alternatives to typical fast-food lunch options. Trend-setting, downtown-DC lunch favorite Juice Joint Café has updated its look and expanded into a neighboring space. CORE, a prominent Georgetown-based architecture and design firm with an award-winning hospitality design practice, designed the newly expanded space. Juice Joint Cafe is owned and operated by Tom Holland. The café, located near McPherson Square at 1025 Vermont Avenue, NW, will reopen its doors on March 27.

    “Our client’s enthusiasm and passion for his business was such a driver for us,” said lead project designer Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP. “He has built a large menu offering of high-quality, healthful foods, but the space lacked focus. A fast-casual restaurant environment should be straightforward and enjoyable. Our goal was to streamline queuing to facilitate his large lunch crowd, while visually showcasing the freshness of the product.”

    To demonstrate the Juice Joint’s focus on fresh, natural food, guests immediately see the café’s wheatgrass harvesting process on display. Tiers of trays illustrate the different stages of growth and serve an operational need as a key menu ingredient. While waiting in line, patrons can also view the fresh ingredients that go into the café’s made-to-order juice and smoothie preparation.

    “I brought in the CORE design team because I wanted to make sure that our bigger café space had a modern, clean design that highlighted our commitment to fresh, natural food,” said Juice Joint owner Tom Holland. “CORE really listened to my needs,” said Holland. “I love that even our wheatgrass production has been integrated into the design.”

    The expanded space is light and clean with sleek, streamlined finishes including: white millwork, epoxy flooring, exposed ceilings, textured stainless and green accents. The queuing area is delineated playfully with a railing made of rubber tubing that resembles garden hose. An orange solid-surface material calls attention to the cashier stations. The space accommodates almost twice the seating of the old restaurant, both indoor and out.

    Tom Holland opened the first Juice Joint Café location in Dewey Beach, Delaware – to test the café concept – and ran it until 2001. Jim Holland, Tom’s brother and business partner, joined Tom to open the DC location. Executive chef Adrien Marsoni, a classically-trained French chef, has run the kitchen and refined menus for the last three years. Formerly at Bistrot du Coin and Montsouris, Marsoni shares the Hollands’ deep commitment to providing their customers with the freshest, healthiest product. In addition to the dine-in and carryout lunch service, the café also serves breakfast and provides catering. They are considering additional expansion and potential franchising opportunities for the new Juice Joint café concept.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include:  Brasserie Beck, Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Porter Novelli, among numerous others.

    For more information contact:
    Allison Cooke at CORE
    202-466-6116
    acc@coredc.com

  • 20 Years of CORE in Georgetown

    3.7.12

    CORE is featured in the the latest edition of the Georgetowner. Read the article at georgetowner.com.

  • Arlandria Redevelopment Gains Momentum

    12.28.11

    CORE's Mt. Vernon Village Center project gets written up in DCmud. Read the article at dcmud.blogspot.com.

  • Editors' Pick - Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

    12.14.11

    The Washington Post's Going Out Guide features Pearl Dive Oyster Palace. Read the Article at washingtonpost.com

  • William Jeffrey’s Tavern Opens in Arlington

    12.12.11

    December 12, 2011

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (DECEMBER 12, 2011)—As the weather gets cold and blustery and with the football season in full swing, there is no better place to become a regular than your welcoming, casual neighborhood tavern. CORE architecture + design, a prominent Georgetown-based firm with a strong hospitality design practice, announces the completion of its latest restaurant and bar design: William Jeffrey’s Tavern (William Jeffrey’s). The expansive new establishment, owned and operated by long-time local restaurateur Vintage II Restaurants Inc., is opening officially on December 15 in Siena Park at 2301 Columbia Pike in Arlington, Virginia.

    “The owners wanted to create a comfortable neighborhood hangout that’s both a welcoming restaurant for local families and a great bar for socializing,” said Project Architect Jennifer Jaffke, LEED AP. “With their clear vision in mind, we designed a warm, cozy space that everyone can enjoy.”

    William Jeffrey’s owners Wilson Whitney, Adam Lubar, and Chris Lefbom already run three successful restaurants in Arlington: Rhodeside Grill, Ragtime, and Dogwood Tavern.

    “Our first three restaurants were existing spaces so we only made cosmetic changes,” said Chris Lefbom, co-owner, William Jeffrey’s Tavern. “We chose to work with CORE architecture + design because this time we could make this place ours – and we knew CORE could create the rustic, industrial neighborhood restaurant that we wanted.”

    The large walnut-stained oak bar and stacked-stone chimney (flanked with two fireplaces) are the visual focal points at William Jeffrey’s. The one-story, 6500 square foot space has been transformed into three tiers with four separate areas to congregate and eat. The main bar, wrapped with HDTVs, has two dining areas: one is an open space surrounded by the floor-to-ceiling windows that look onto Columbia Pike; and the other is a smaller space with booths and smaller TVs for more intimate gatherings. As guests step up to the second-tier bar area, they can choose to sit at the main bar or at a concrete hearth that runs in front of the table-height, two-sided fireplaces. On the third tier, hidden behind the fireplaces, is an additional bar and eating area for private parties.

    Dark, warm materials and myriad brown and red hues create an inviting color palette. The main bar has a burnished bronze top and walnut-stained oak front. The rich walnut stain reappears on the tin ceiling, concrete floors, service bars, fireplace mantles and a chair rail that runs around the restaurant. The bronze also repeats as large riveted shingles over the fireplace. Rich burgundy-red curtains drape softly around the largest dining area while wooden shutters create a more masculine feel in both bar areas. The Prohibition-era mural behind the bar and a number of paintings throughout the Tavern were all created by artist Thomas Mullany.

    William Jeffrey’s Tavern is owned and operated by Vintage II Restaurants Inc., a long-time local restaurateur. The group has been planning to expand into the South Arlington community for quite some time. William Jeffrey’s will offer reasonably priced, eclectic-American comfort food. The well-stocked bar will feature 16 craft beers and Prohibition-inspired cocktails. In 2012, they also plan to serve weekend brunch, feature live acoustic music, and open an outdoor patio.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, and numerous others. For more information, visit www.coredc.com.

  • CORE Gallery in Washington Post's Capital Business

    12.11.11

    CORE is featured in the in the Washington Post's Capital Business section. View CORE's photo gallery at washingtonpost.com.

  • Potomac’s Founding Farmers: By CORE Architecture and Design

    11.8.11

    November 08, 2011

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (OCTOBER 18, 2011)—One of the most popular dining destinations in the country, Founding Farmers, is opening a second location in the suburban Park Potomac development of Potomac, Maryland. Like the original, Founding Farmers Potomac was designed by CORE architecture + design, a prominent Georgetown-based firm with an award-winning hospitality practice. This successful farm-to-table concept sources products from American family farmers regionally whenever possible and maintains a commitment to green operations and business practices. The restaurant, with playful touches reminiscent of pastures and farmland, was designed to meet LEED certification criteria.

    “For guests familiar with the DC restaurant, there are some new surprises. We were on the leading edge of the rustic, industrial design trend when the first location opened and now everyone has caught on,” said lead designer Allison Cooke, IIDA. “The challenge was to take a successful design and make it even more relevant and fresh. There are distinctive elements we carried over into the new space, with added graphic punch and color. In addition, we wanted to incorporate guest feedback to enhance the dining experience,” said Cooke.

    The space is organized to accommodate all types of guests in various service times: from those looking for a lively bar scene, to others who prefer an intimate dinner. A mezzanine level creates a quieter atmosphere and a dramatic glimpse of the space below, especially when viewed from one of the silo-shaped booths that cantilever off the edge.

    Similar to the DC location, distressed woods and inviting textures and colors guide the overall palette. Guests that have eaten at Founding Farmers DC will recognize familiar touches like whitewashed barn wood, warm lighting, and glowing jars of canned produce. The effort to source sustainable building materials is seen most prominently on the front of the bar, where reclaimed shoeboxes are repurposed as cladding. A unique architectural feature is a semi-private, deconstructed greenhouse—complete with hanging planter boxes and herbs—that frames the largest table with seating for 10. The expansive two-story dining room features a bold mural of abstracted fields that serves a backdrop for a flock of flying birds. Lightning bolts and a cloud add a playful touch. The dessert studio is prominently placed so that the aromas of freshly baked goods, breads and pastries emanate throughout the dining space.

    Guests seeking to do business while in the restaurant can take advantage of its enhanced service and amenities. With power outlets at every booth and the bar, guests can telework, hold meetings, use the complimentary printer during breakfast service, or use the mailing supplies for letters or priority mail in the ‘business center.’

    The seasonal menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch have been developed to bring guests original-recipe food and drink selections that highlight the fresh products and ingredients sourced through American family farmers and from other regional, sustainable purveyors. The restaurant will offer many signature housemade menu items, as well as an award-winning mixology and beverage program. For more information on Potomac’s Founding Farmers, visit www.WeAreFoundingFarmers.com.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area. An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Brasserie Beck, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Black Jack, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, among numerous others. For more information, visit www.coredc.com.

  • CORE is a 2011 Gold Key Award Finalist

    11.7.11

    November 07, 2011

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (NOVEMBER 2011)—The International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show (IHMRS) has named CORE architecture + design (CORE) a finalist in the 31st Annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design. IHMRS recognized CORE’s design for Cava Grill (Bethesda, MD) in the Casual Dining Restaurant category. The annual competition considered entries from around the globe. Award winners will be announced on Monday, November 14th at the IHMRS awards breakfast in New York.

    The edgy, industrial design served as the prototype for the local eatery’s roll out, whose menu features all-natural Mediterranean dishes. The space is minimal, yet still warm and rustic. Upon entering, a glowing bright yellow pylon signals the beginning of the ordering line, and reinforces the brand identity. Heavy timber booth seating with steel connections defines the space. A curving custom light fixture created from clear wine bottles guides guests through the queue.

    “The success of the Cava Grill prototype lies in its simplicity,” said Project Designer Amy Stortz Miller. “The owners had a clear vision for the guest experience and brought a lot of energy to the table, making the partnership with them very exciting. The space itself was a challenge because it’s very long and narrow, so we organized strong built-in elements along a central axis. You get a sense of the bold design from outside, before you even enter the restaurant.”

    Other CORE-designed restaurants have been Gold Key Award finalists in previous years including Founding Farmers (2009) and Comet Ping Pong (2007).

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the east coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area.

    An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Founding Farmers, Brasserie Beck, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Sweetgreen, Dean & Deluca, Georgetown Cupcake, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, among numerous others. For more information, visit www.coredc.com.

  • Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack

    9.23.11

    September 23, 2011

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (SEPTEMBER 23, 2011)—CORE architecture + design, a prominent Georgetown-based firm with a strong hospitality design practice, has completed its latest restaurant and bar: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack. This no-frills seafood restaurant and eclectic bourbon bar, the brainchild of Chef/Owner Jeff Black of the Black Restaurant Group, shows how DC is shedding its suit-and-tie mentality and embracing the casual dining trend. The design of this much-anticipated 14th Street locale encourages diners to let the good times roll by reinterpreting the spirit of New Orleans in the nation’s capital. The restaurant is located at 1612 14th Street, NW, near the corner of 14th and Q streets in Washington, D.C.

    “This project is nothing like DC has seen before. We really made an effort to bring the grittiness and mystery of New Orleans alive. The space downstairs feels like you are dropping by your favorite old haunt to get an oyster po-boy, while the upstairs bar transports you to a place that’s carnivale-esque,” said lead project designer, Allison Cooke, IIDA. “This project was a great challenge given the age of the building and Jeff Black’s passion for making it a truly unique experience. He would lob out an idea, and we thought ‘how can we push this further’ and then into a built environment,” said Cooke.

    In keeping with CORE’s design principles, Pearl Dive and Black Jack are well suited to their surroundings and complement the neighborhood spirit and architecture. The building, once a Model T showroom, was historically maintained and embellished with an expansive storefront window that opens onto the sidewalk. The first floor bar features a massive nautical chain sculpture that hangs from the exposed beams and somehow seems suspended underwater. A hand-painted wall mural depicts an enchanting mermaid, who beckons you further inside. The chipped plaster walls, whitewashed patina, and zinc bar tops make you wonder if you have just rediscovered a place that has been on 14th street for decades. Dining table tops were created from the building’s own floor joists, which were too damaged to maintain as the structure. A small raw bar in the back has just enough seats for the neighborhood regulars.

    Through ships portholes, patrons get a glimpse into the stairway that leads to Black Jack. Upon entry the floor features the bar mascot, an angry monkey holding a cocktail, which sets the stage for what you will encounter upstairs. An expansive bar spans the length of the space, draped in red velvet where a tattooed lady graces the helm of the bartender’s station. Antique church lanterns are paired with string lights, creating a warm glow. A “GOLF” sign blinks overhead. The bar and raised lounge provide a mix of gathering spaces with a few secluded booths facing the action station, where an old fireplace is the backdrop for culinary showmanship. A bocce court enlivens the back of the bar where Astroturf lends to the quirky atmosphere and carnival letters spell “BLACK JACK” overhead.

    Pearl Dive and Black Jack are owned and operated by Black Restaurant Group, a long-time local restaurateur. Jeff Black’s other highly acclaimed restaurants are complemented by the addition of the 14th Street location. CORE previously collaborated with Black in 2005 to create Black Salt Seafood Market on MacArthur Boulevard, which has become an anchor in the neighborhood. Don’t be fooled by the casual atmosphere at Pearl Dive: the food is par with some of DC’s fine dining establishments, but served in an approachable way. The downstairs Menu features oysters complemented by other creative dishes like crawfish ravioli and braised pork cheeks. The bar menu offering at Black Jack will reinvent some old favorites with shrimp pizza and pork belly nachos. They also plan to offer a daily blue plate special which will sell for an affordable price point of $16.

    With an established portfolio in architecture, commercial interiors, hospitality and retail design, CORE has designed over 55 restaurants in locations across the East coast and in the Caribbean with a large concentration in the DC metro area.

    An internationally recognized firm, CORE has received more than 100 design awards. The firm’s notable list of projects and clients include: Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Dean & Deluca, The JBG Companies, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Porter Novelli, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, among numerous others.

  • CORE Wins IIDA Hospitality Bronze Award for Sweetgreen Bethesda

    4.5.11

    April 05, 2011

    WASHINGTON, DC, IIDA, the International Interior Design Association Mid Atlantic Chapter has awarded CORE the 2011 Bronze Award for Hospitality at their annual IIDA Premiere Event for the design of the Bethesda location of Sweetgreen. Following 20 years of award-winning design, this marks the second straight year for CORE to be awarded the Bronze Award for Hospitality, proudly succeeding Againn Gastropub as the 2010 winner.

    CORE designed the Bethesda location after the wild success of the original Georgetown location, which won several awards and was featured in Metropolis magazine for its excellence in sustainable design. Utilizing many of the feature elements from the original design (including custom wall graphics and reclaimed hickory wood accents), the Bethesda location adapted to the new site with the addition of dining space and custom furniture constructed with wood recycled from old bowling alley floors.

    CORE is very proud to be awarded this honor and congratulations to the design team!

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