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National Permanent Building

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1976, Hartman-Cox. 1775 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
  • National Permanent Building

In the mid-1970s, the National Permanent Building differentiated itself from nearby glass-covered office buildings by its design of a reinforced-concrete frame around recessed windows. On its prominent trapezoidal site, the poured concrete frame of columns and notched spandrels projects several feet beyond the glass wall, thus providing a sense of depth to the building while reducing the gray glass windows' exposure to the sun, thereby reducing air-conditioning costs. The circumference of the columns becomes smaller as they ascend the building, expressing the lesser load they carry. Flanking the columns, pairs of steel tube utility ducts narrow as they descend. At the penthouse, these ducts are enclosed in huge tubes that slant toward the building line, an idea inspired by the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "National Permanent Building", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 227-227.

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