By Carolyn M. Proctor

This penthouse space across the top three floors of a renovated Class A building on K Street has legal prestige on paper — but in person, in addition to the great views, it also has cutting-edge technology, hybrid-flexible workspaces, and tenant health and well-being built into the design.

In the new office setup, anyone on staff can digitally reserve a private workspace as needed, or use one of the shared meeting rooms and open collaboration spaces to come together either formally or for an impromptu gathering as a team. Upon entering any office, interactive screens automatically recognize any user to log them in, thanks to a new mobile technology. All workspaces also have built-in cameras and screens for virtual meetings with “Zoom-friendly” adjustable lighting.

“The spaces were also designed with health and equity in mind, applying principles of color theory and attention restoration theory, and integrating adjustable lighting to help people look and feel their best, especially when using the built-in cameras and screens for virtual meetings,” said Mariela Buendia-Corrochano, who led the design for Gensler but has since started her own firm.

The interior incorporates biophilic design features known for promoting well-being, such as live plants throughout, abundant natural light, an indoor garden, and natural stone and wood finishes. A flowing sculptural feature suspended from the ceiling in the lounge, along with other artwork and a fireplace, all combine to create a stimulating and hospitable atmosphere. The space also includes an outdoor roof deck and terrace, fitness center, gender-neutral bathrooms, ergonomic furniture, a barista bar, dining spaces, and an in-house medical center.

“Our office design is highly intentional with consideration given to input from our firm community which is borne out in every aspect of our space,” said Robert Burger, COO at Sterne Kessler. “Our approach is an extension of our culture of which wellness is a central aspect; people have really embraced all of the design features, the continued sense of community, and the ability to comfortably work collaboratively with our clients and each other whether in the office or working remotely.”

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC

  • Address: 1101 K St. NW
  • Tenant: Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC
  • Interior architect: Gensler
  • Project head: Francisco Gonzalez
  • Lead designer: Mariela Buendia-Corrochano (now with estudioMBC)
  • General contractor: Harvey Cleary
  • Landlord: UBS
  • Size: 76,000 square feet
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