franklin tower
washington d.c.


Shorenstein Realty asked Gertler & Wente to renovate the conservatively designed Federal style lobby to  embody  a renewed contemporary design.

The most consequential design decision made was to replace the existing limestone floor, which contained repetitious dark green marble inserts.  Crema Delicato, a predominantly white Italian marble with subtle veining, with stainless steel inserts was selected for the new floor.

Inserted in 20 foot long by one foot deep recesses behind the reception desk and the opposite wall, are full height back-painted glass panels with stainless steel vertical fins intended to further reduce the amount of limestone walls and provide a strong visual element on either side of the lobby.  The same materials were applied to the wall at the end of the elevator bank, creating a focal point to the entire lobby experience. 
A new and sleeker security desk, with a dark and subtly grained Wallace Creek stone is on the top and inwardly angled front, and stands in front of the full height glass.  Its sides are also back painted glass.  Opposite the desk is a low 12 foot long bench with the same stone on a 2¼” top and glass as its base.  Behind it is the other back painted glass insert wall. All six elevator cabs were redesigned with similar lobby materials – stone, metal and lighting.

Photography by Mary Parker