George Washington University


Marvin Center Addition

Washington, DC

34,800 GSF, 3,233 M2

Architecture, Interior Architecture


Campus centers benefit from a sense of arrival and a recognizable imprint. Taking the place of a barren elevated plaza, a modern glass entryway was designed by SmithGroupJJR to add a distinct identity and a welcoming reception zone for this urban campus. Glistening in the sun or projecting a warm and inviting glow by night, the addition has become a dynamic catalyst for activity along a major campus avenue.

Compact and contemporary while also complementing its neighbors, the design solution uses layers of energy-efficient glass wall panels to define new spaces. Metal mullions and reveals echo the rhythm of the existing building's façade, with a celebratory glass plane that projects from an upper-floor ballroom. Like the entrance canopy, this gesture is light and reserved even as it provides impressive contrast to other buildings nearby.

Inside, the two-story ballroom on the third floor projects out and over the entrance, adding volume and drama to the room. With its glass corners, this space has become a campus favorite for events and receptions. The tightly packed interior layout adds 15,000 square feet of new program for the university in uniquely contextual building.