International Finance Corporation Headquarters

Washington, DC

A dignified headquarters for a member organization of the World Bank Group

Washington, DC

Completion Date
1997 Office Building, 2005 Retail Store

1.1 million SF

New Construction, Class A Office

Sustainability Certifications
LEED-Platinum EBOM

Professional Credits
Associate Architect: Vlastimil Koubek

Traditional Washington

Now considered a classic in office building design from the 1990s, the headquarters of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation broke from the conservative tendencies of monumental tendencies at the time it was built. The design team articulated the 600-foot-long façade along Pennsylvania Avenue as a series of pavilions with varied window types pulled forward from the body of the building to break down the scale. The design thus increased opportunities to plan corner offices within the large floorplates typical in D.C.

Public spaces for employees and visitors

Accessible from the secure glass-fronted lobby, a central skylit atrium is a focal point for employees and visitors. Extending the full height of the building, it also mitigates the change in grade between Pennsylvania Avenue and K Street. MGA provided layouts for the typical office floors and was responsible for the interiors of the shared employee facilities including the conference and training center, multi-purpose auditorium, library, cafeteria and dining rooms and credit union. In a later phase, MGA designed a retail store facing Pennsylvania Avenue.     

Zoning and pre-positioning

The original project at 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue involved the successful re-zoning of the site for a large speculative office building for high-end law offices. A collapse in market conditions led the developer to sell the building to the World Bank Group. MGA assisted the real estate brokers in re-positioning the building. We provided horizontal and vertical test-fits within the approved building envelope to prove that the building would be suitable for the IFC’s program.


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Tom P. Rowe, AIA

Principal, Design Practice Leader
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