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19th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

Index to Projects in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

Gross Area
831,000 s/f

International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C.

Time Frame
Planning: 10/00–
Construction: 9/02–
Completion: 5/05

LEED Gold Certified
(Existing Building)

International Monetary Fund Headquarters 2

Washington, D.C.
Completed 2005


Lead Designers:



Henry N. Cobb
Yvonne Szeto


Headquarters office

Click on image to enlarge

The new IMF HQ2 project is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., immediately adjacent to the IMF HQ1 Building. This prominent site is precisely halfway between the White House grounds and Washington Circle, flanked on the east and west by triangular parks. The two parks help to set the site apart from its neighbors, granting special distinction to its avenue frontage. One of the key design goals for the project was to engender a sense of shared identity between the two IMF buildings — to create a familial relationship while making a clear distinction between the HQ1 and HQ2 buildings.

The program for HQ2 calls for approximately 649,000 square feet of new office and office support space for IMF staff on twelve floors. Staff amenities include a staff restaurant, a meeting facility, and training facilities. Underground parking provides 400 spaces on three levels. While most of the building is private IMF offices, the IMF seeks to make HQ2 appear transparent, accessible, and inviting to the public. This aspiration extends to the program for ground-floor uses that will be accessible to the public, including a 1,100-seat meeting facility, a retail restaurant, and an exhibition gallery.

The design approach includes a central atrium, responding to IMF's program, which calls for a high-quality interior office environment with a high percentage of perimeter offices requiring natural daylight. Lofty and skylit, the atrium provides natural light to interior offices while providing the HQ2 building with a central common space that will foster a strong sense of shared purpose, an esprit de corps that will engender pride in those who serve as well as those who are served by the IMF.

In addition, common spaces within the building are shaped to provide open vistas toward the two parks. On the upper office floors, these spaces take the form of two-story "mini-atria" with intercommunicating stairs and informal meeting areas. On the lower floors, the entry on 19th Street and the staff restaurant and other gathering areas enjoy these views. These spaces are characterized by floor-to-ceiling glass to provide generous views of the two parks while simultaneously offering a sense of openness and transparency from the exterior, where activities of the building within will be visible.


Major Components

Institutional headquarters office expansion; employee restaurant; 1,100-seat meeting facility with breakout rooms; full-floor employee training and lecture room facility; retail restaurant and public exhibit space at ground floor; building and perimeter security, blast design underground; parking for 400 employees





Washington D.C. Building Congress: Craftsmanship Award: Star Award for Visual Excellence


Pei Cobb Freed & Partners services

Design Architect; Architect of Record; complete space planning and interior design; construction documents for back-of-house areas; full-time project representative (construction administration)


Associate Architect

Weihe Design Group PLLC, Washington, D.C.



Tadjer-Cohen-Edelson Associates, Inc., Silver Spring, MD


Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing

GHT Limited, Arlington, VA



Photo credits

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