Steel topped off last month, approximately two weeks ahead of schedule, for the 15-story, 1-million-sf Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C. The four-star hotel was designed by architects Cooper Carry and tvsdesign with Thornton Tomasetti as structural engineer. It will provide accommodations for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center located across the street, to which it will be connected by an underground walkway. With 1,175 rooms and 49 suites, it will be the largest hotel in the city when it opens in May 2014. It will contain more than 100,000 sf of meeting and assembly space (nearly all of it below grade), ground-floor retail and restaurants, underground parking for 400 cars and a glass-covered lobby atrium with a 56-ft steel sculpture. The use of top-down construction helped expedite the project, which at 94 feet below ground is nearly as deep as it is tall. Below-grade floor slabs were designed to act as compression rings to resist earth and water pressures on the slurry wall. Major transfer girders were necessary for underground ballroom spaces with hotel tower columns located above portions of the clear spans. The adjacent historic American Federation of Labor Building will be converted into a guestroom tower and will be connected to the hotel at the fourth floor and lobby. The hotel is designed for LEED Silver certification.
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