The JBG Companies


L’Enfant Plaza East Retail

Washington, DC

200,000 GSF, 18580 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture

Award of Excellence, Best Retail Project, Common Dining & Entertainment , Reconstruction Awards - Bronze Award

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“SmithGroupJJR’s design transformation has greatly contributed to the huge success of L’Enfant Plaza Retail”

—Britt Snider, Senior Vice President


Originally conceived in the late 1960s, L’Enfant Plaza in Southwest Washington, DC is a landmark site of mid-century modern urban planning at a mega scale. The existing 1.3 million-square-foot development is undergoing a major mixed-use transformation, tripling in size to add density and create a dynamic and sought-after neighborhood. The first step in the plan provides a refreshed retail hub to serve the existing community as well as draw consumers from one of the busiest metro stations in the region.

SmithGroupJJR was asked to unlock the hidden potential of a dim and obscure retail corridor as a bright and open destination. Improved lighting and access to outside views appeal to shoppers and diners, while the plan avoids the ‘dead-ends’ of a typical food court. A mix of national and local restaurants and retailers face outward to a busy indoor thoroughfare offering small clusters of café seating. The glass atrium pavilion is a clean, modern form which complements the original architecture. The solution utilizes an elegant palette of materials and finishes, complemented by vibrant graphics throughout, to establish a strong sense of identity. The result: a once isolated and tired space has been completely transformed into a lively, highly utilized urban destination.

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