Whole Foods Market, P Street

“Some customers feel themselves inexplicably pulled toward the building. I‘m out and about, doing my thing … and for one reason or another, I find myself here.” — ANNE HULL, THE WASHINGTON POST MAGAZINE


Washington, DC

Winner of numerous design awards and featured in the AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, this store created a unique new typology for an urban grocery store, becoming a catalyst for the redevelopmentof Washington’s 14th Street NW corridor. The groundbreaking design for Whole Foods Market was praised by the AIA Potomac Valley Awards Jury for execution that “transforms the day-to-day public function of food shopping from ordinary into a rich spatial experience.”

A primary design goal was to integrate the store with the street, providing attractive pedestrian space that entices consumers to enter. A dramatic window, 160 feet long by 17 feet high, allows unobstructed views from the street to the grocery aisles. Soffits at the rear of the store are angled to mimic the storefront and feature large letters visible to passing cars. Booth and counter seating are placed inside the storefront to create visual interactions between customers and passersby.

The building is designed to facilitate clear and easy access for customers. Pedestrians enter under a broad canopy looking into a two-story entry that encloses the vestibule and a grand staircase from the upper parking level. This tall mass, defined with intricate masonry piers and multicolored glass, is scaled to serve as the focal point of the entire block. Customers entering from the rooftop level look onto P Street with views of the Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan areas of DC.

Date Complete


AIA Washington DC  |  Catalyst Award 2001
AIA Potomac Valley  |  Merit Award 2001
Masonry Institute Masonry  |  Design Merit Award 2001