601 Massachusetts Avenue is a commercial office building project located near the Washington Convention Center on a triangular parcel at the intersection of K Street NW and Massachusetts Avenue, two major arteries to the heart of downtown Washington, DC. Designed by Duda Paine Architects, 601 Massachusetts Avenue features a ten-story, 113-foot tall Pilkington Planar™ point-supported lobby atrium wall of 1/2″ Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron monolithic tempered glass supported by stainless steel tension rods and 86-foot wide horizontal painted steel trusses bracing the system at each floor. Architects were striving for unparalleled transparency with minimal vertical elements. Working closely with system supplier W&W Glass, LLC and Harmon Inc., the installer, they achieved the desired aesthetics to create a monumental entry for this prime address.
Some of the unique aspects of the project were the high degree of engineering for the back-up structure by W&W Glass, the fabrication and engineering of the glazing by Pilkington, and the shipping and installation of the massive, one-piece horizontal trusses. The horizontal tube steel trusses provided wind load support for the glass while the stainless steel tension rods transferred dead load of the glass to the top of the system. TriPyramid Structures, Inc. of Westford, MA expertly fabricated this portion of the system to very tight AESS tolerances.