From the Watergate Hotel to Reston Executive Center, a closer look at BBGM projects


The rooftop of the newly-renovated Graham Hotel in Georgetown. BBGM oversaw the makeover. (Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

BBGM, a District-based boutique architecture and design firm, has had a hand in designing or renovating a number of Washington’s highest profile hotels and office spaces. Here, a look at three of the company’s projects:

1. The Watergate Hotel

An upcoming overhaul of the Watergate Hotel calls for 348 rooms (up from an original 250) and higher ceilings for the property’s ballroom. The biggest challenge, BBGM partner Bahram Kamali said, was making those improvements without disturbing the exterior of the historical property.

“We had to make the rooms smaller while making sure they still felt luxurious,” Kamali said. “And we couldn’t touch the outside — every single window has to stay where it is.”

2. The Graham Hotel

This Georgetown hotel reoped its doors last year after a sweeping overhaul. BBGM’s plans called for demolishing the entire interior to make way for more shared spaces, including a lounge offering specialty drinks and a rooftop bar and terrace.

“There is a lot of competition in Georgetown,” Kamali said. “We needed to make sure the Graham was a place where people would want to come and hang out.”

3. Reston
Executive Center

Construction is underway for renovation of this three-building office complex, which Chevy Chase-based real estate developer JBG Cos. recently purchased from Vornado. BBGM was tapped to design new lobbies for all three buildings, which were originally built in 1985. A “wood portal” connects the first and second floors of each building, while glass walls allow light to filter through. The team also added a fitness center and updated the building’s elevators and restrooms.

Read more about BBGM here.

— Abha Bhattarai

Abha Bhattarai covers local banking, retail and hospitality for The Washington Post’s Capital Business section.
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