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Classic Transition

An existing YMCA is transformed by Hickok Cole architects into a commercial office building with a new dynamic metal skin of custom made TECU® Classic shingles and contemporary amenities. The existing building sits at an important transition zone between the higher density Central Business District and the lower density residential neighbourhoods.

The design maintains the basic structure of the current building by preserving the majority of existing columns and floor slabs while also surgically infilling other areas. In order to relate to the area’s historical context and break down the building scale, the exterior composition modulates the existing building mass to create a vibrant but balanced presence on Rhode Island Ave.

The top floor is set back to reduce the street wall height and the primary facades incorporate varying window depths to produce shadow lines reminiscent of those found in the adjacent townhouses. An architectural copper skin is layered over a background of clear glass and accented with metal filigree to provide contrast and definition on the street wall.

The façade cladding is based on custom-made TECU® Classic copper rhomboid shingles, brownished by hand and coated with a transparent protective layer to preserve the aesthetical appearance of the pre-oxidised material.
Following the design ideas of the architects, KME manufactured a unique solution to realise this beautiful façade concept.


TECU® Classic custom-made
Office Building, 1701 Rhode Island, Washington (US)
Hickok Cole, Washington (US)
Whiting-Turner, Greenbelt (US) / James Myers, Beltsville (US)
© Alan Schindler Photography