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Turning an Empty Space into an Experience

Written By More Vang

December 14, 2018

After being fully leased for decades, Presidential Tower was returning to the market. To announce its return, Avison Young wanted to create an engaging real estate experience. During our first meeting, we stood on the 12th floor and took in the commanding views—verdant on one side, metropolitan on the other—and formulated a plan. We would treat the entire space as a gigantic showroom, illustrating the different experiences that make the building and its environs so desirable.

One problem: we only had six weeks to do it. Sometimes its a great thing to have control over every step of the process, from creative to installation.

We hung 4’x 8’ acrylic panels, using clamps and ceiling tracks. We recreated the commuter feel with wall vinyl Metro pillar signs. And to show how desks, tables, and chairs could populate the space, we spray painted stenciled replicas of the furniture.

Inspired by Presidential Tower’s emblematic logo, we provided a 500-foot route for prospective tenants to follow from the elevator to each experience in the space.

The walkway wraps around the Route 1 side of Presidential Tower and arrives at a corner where planes can be seen taking off and landing at Reagan National Airport.

And the space itself is pillared by Metro signage for King Street, Pentagon City, Crystal City, and the airport.

As the walkway approaches a right angle bend around a pillar, silhouettes of actual office furnishings appear on the interior floor. They’re stenciled sketches that show exactly how a real office environment could be laid out in situ.

The final stop is the Conference area, where we highlight all the impressive specs: the thousands of rentable square feet, the LEED® Silver certification, and neighborhood amenities.

In the end, we turned a drab concrete shell into a colorful, informational experience that paid homage to the building’s convenience and amenities for today’s professional class.