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Looking for an office of the future?

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Vornado/Charles E. Smith, the Washington division of a commercial real estate investment trust that owns a lot of space in Crystal City, challenged six architects to design innovative work spaces. The program, known as DesignLab, has transformed a single floor at 251 18th Street in Crystal City into six pre-built office suites that are ready to occupy and lease.

The initiative challenged FOX, OTJ, Perkins+Will, RTKL, SmithGroupJJR and VOA to create the “office space of the future” – with no design constraints.  

The challenge to the architectural firms resulted in modern, colorful, and efficient high-tech spaces. Ranging from 2,800 square feet to 5,900 square feet on the sixth floor an office building in Crystal City, DesignLab suites offer:

Fewer walls, more natural light and flexible open spaces;

Multi-purpose kitchens used for office meetings and mobile workspace;

Reception desks on wheels that can be pushed aside when more meeting space is needed.

Special paint that turns a wall into a dry erase canvas; 

“We see DesignLab as a showcase for innovative new thinking about office space,” Mitchell Schear, president of Vornado/Charles E. Smith, said in a statement.  “Creative companies are seeking highly collaborative, flexible workspace, and our DesignLab has produced forward-looking solutions.”

DesignLab suites are located directly above the Crystal City Metro. The neighborhood is adjacent to Reagan National Airport and also is served by Virginia Railway Express.

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