1050 31st St N.W., Washington, D.C.

The Rosewood (formerly The Capella) is a luxury, boutique hotel in the heart of Georgetown.  Amenities include a rooftop sundeck and pool with views of Georgetown Harbor, the Watergate and Kennedy Center and a well-appointed restaurant beside the Historic C&O Canal.  Prior to early 2012, 1050 31st Street, N.W. was simply a long-vacant, rectangular, brick-clad office building.  It consisted of two below-grade parking/service levels, five office levels, the main roof and penthouse, and a penthouse roof.

The floor plan consisted of a 5-bay by 4-bay arrangement, with the stairs and elevator core offset from the center of the building.  In order to keep manageable room sizes and arrangements, the core was shifted by a half-bay, and one of the two original elevator shafts and the original air shaft were infilled.  Two new elevators were added to supplement the one elevator to remain and new shafts were framed with structural steel beams and tube steel posts at each corner down to the mat foundation.

The entire rooftop penthouse was removed in order to provide space for the rooftop pool, spa, and bar, but the overall building height had to be maintained.  The solution was to remove 2/3 of the existing penthouse roof and rebuild it at a lower elevation and design new screen walls to hide rooftop mechanical equipment.

There were various problems with the entire exterior masonry facade (4” brick plus 4” CMU), including extensive corner cracking, no vertical control joints, no positive anchorage at the tops of the walls, and an inability to meet current wind-load requirements.  A supplemental metal stud wall, anchored at the top and bottom to the structural slab and to the existing exterior masonry facade at mid-wall-height, corrected these deficiencies.  Further damage was uncovered at each corner column.  We determined that this damage was caused by a combination of inadequate column ties (in many cases, they were omitted to allow outlet boxes to be cast into the column) as well as stresses due to thermal movement of the exterior facade.  The solution consisted of carbon-fiber column wraps to replace missing column ties and the introduction of vertical control joints in the facade when the corner brick was repaired/rebuilt.