Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Parking Garage

Washington, D.C.

Contemporary, yet historical. Beautiful, yet secure. And it had to give more than three million parking patrons a well-marked path to their flights. From the beginning, the new garage at National Airport was a study in contrasts. The charge was simple, yet challenging – create a modern building within the shadows of the Washington Monument.

The predominant features of the garage are the glass block elevator towers. The clear Vue® pattern provides a peripheral view and emits maximum light, which is important both for aesthetics and safety. These towers, combined with clearly marked entrances and exits, help guide patrons to their destinations.

Inside, glass block continues to serve as a guide, with lighted elevator stations encased in Essex® AA pattern glass block, glass block stairwells with five stories of natural light, and lighted glass block pylons that serve as information centers.

Ultimately, the use of glass block helps patrons traverse the parking garage, adding immeasurably to their peace of mind. The finished project is a shining example of steel and glass block.

"We started with the vertical elements of the garages – the elevator towers – and using the Vue® pattern, turned it into a virtual “wayfinder” system,” states architect Graham Davidson. “Then we continued that theme with small “wayfinder” devices – information pylons using Essex® AA – throughout the interior of the garages."