Capital One 6

Construction continues apace on Capital One's 24-acre Tysons campus, where a performing-arts center, Wegmans grocery store and new office buildings will be built in coming years. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)

Capital One’s new 470-foot-tall headquarters in Tysons is the tallest occupied building in the Washington, D.C., region, but its flexible work spaces, copious employee amenities and artistic touches make it more than just a glass tower.

Bank officials on Nov. 2 showed media members the building’s innovative features from basement to peak.

The new tower will house about 3,000 employees, two-thirds of whom already have begun working in the building. Capital One will move the remainder into the skyscraper by year’s end and hold a grand opening ceremony in December, said Barry Mark, head of design and construction.

The 31-story, mixed-use tower has a little less than 1 million square feet of space, including 675,000 square feet for the bank’s associates; 124,000 square feet for training, conferences and dining; and 25,000 square feet of restaurant space. Three restaurants will occupy the ground level: City Works, Taco Bamba Taqueria and Starbucks.

Bonstra/Haresign Architects, HKS Inc. and CallisonRTKL Inc. designed the building, which was built by general contractor Davis/Gilford Construction. One of the project’s tower cranes was 586 feet tall, the highest ever erected in the Washington area.

Construction crews removed 275,000 cubic yards of soil from the foundation hole, used 110,000 cubic yards of concrete and installed 2.5 million linear feet of cabling and 30,450 light fixtures.

The building’s crown, accessible after a series of elevator transfers, is open to the sky and surrounds several stories’ worth of mechanical equipment. Visitors tread metal-grid walkways – the kind that make some dogs hug the deck and refuse to budge – to reach a glass panel with a sightseeing telescope mounted on a sturdy pedestal.

Overhead and to the left is a ceremonial white I-beam emblazoned with Capital One’s logo and autographed by dozens of people.

The catwalk around the top edge is several feet below a wide metal border dotted with metal posts where davit arms are inserted, so that window-washing crews may be lowered safely to their work zones.

“It’s like the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Jon Griffith, senior manager for workplace solutions. “You never stop cleaning.”

In addition to elevators, the building features “zipper” stairs between floors that encourage employee collaboration. A much larger, wood-bedecked “monument stair” allows those attending conferences to walk down one level to obtain food.

An outdoor terrace area several floors up offers an enticing place to relax and the building’s eateries offer a wide array of fare, plus some cooking demonstrations.

Flexibility was the byword for the headquarters’ work areas. Officials took guests to a typical office floor in the building, which had orange-themed and work stations that with the press of a button allowed employees to work either standing or sitting. Various kinds of collaborative spaces also are available throughout the building.

“Folks can choose how they work and where they work throughout the day,” said Stefanie Spurlin, vice president for workplace solutions.

Glassed-off, cubbyhole-style phone rooms offer comfortable-looking chairs for making calls and unobstructed views of the surrounding region. Elsewhere in the building, clusters of “phone booth” rooms offer places to make private calls or work in solitude.

A FedEx store in the building gives employees mailing options and a tech-support center helps them troubleshoot equipment problems.

Art is on view throughout the building. Some mobile-style sculptures in the right light cast a rainbow of colors into an open space, while a string sculpture captures a similar spectrum of shades.

The building’s glass-curtain façade lets in plenty of natural light and a cafeteria skylight allows seating areas far inside the building to receive light from outdoors.

The skyscraper likely will earn a Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, surpassing the Silver standard sought by Fairfax County for new buildings in Tysons. Capital One also offers receptacles throughout the building for trash, recycling and composting.

“It’s important to our associates to have that environmental awareness,” said Erin Mical, senior director for workplace solutions.

Employees at Capital One’s headquarters have no excuse for not being in shape, as the building offers a well-equipped fitness center and group-exercise room. A nearby regulation-size high-school gymnasium will host league play for basketball and volleyball and its rear wall shows a photo of George Mason University’s men’s basketball team playing in the Final Four in 2006.

Seeking to give guests arriving by bus a good impression, and avoid traffic congestion in front of the building, Capital One had a tall-ceilinged bus terminal built into the parking garage’s interior behind the front lobby.

Development continues apace on Capital One’s 24-acre campus. The bank will break ground next February on another office tower, which will house about 3,200 associates when completed at the beginning of 2023.

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s Jones Branch Connector, which will span the Beltway between Jones Branch Drive and Route 123 on the Capital One side, is well into construction and will offer one lane in each direction by early next year.

Construction cranes fill the sky at Block C on the campus, which soon will have a Wegmans grocery store; a 1.2-acre public sky park with a beer garden, dog park, bocce courts and amphitheater; and the Capital One Center, which will host conferences and performing-arts events at a 1,600-seat main hall and a 300-seat black-box theater.

The Capital One Center “is going to be a true gem for Tysons on the cultural-arts front,” Mark said.

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