Meridian Design Associates Architects P.C. has completed the new NBCUniversal News Group Washington, D.C., bureau at 400 North Capitol Street NW, Commercial Observer has learned.
The new bureau, near Capitol Hill, covers 80,000 square feet across six floors and includes seven studios. Nine programs across NBC News and MSNBC will broadcast from the bureau, including “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd,” and “Weekend TODAY” with Peter Alexander and Kristen Welker.
The space is a larger, modernized upgrade from the 4001 Nebraska Avenue studio it had operated out of for more than 60 years.
“We did about 40,000 square feet of the project, assisting in the fit-out of the seventh and eighth floors,” Carlos Young, Meridian’s senior associate, told CO. “We’ve done some projects for them in New York City, and our bread and butter is media, so we helped them with those upper floors.”
Meridian’s work consisted of coordination of all Knoll Office furniture and consoles, with a focus on integrating NBCU News Group’s brand art and vision in its newsroom, meeting areas, and crew lounge.
A key design requirement was to create an environment centered around the assignment desks, so Meridian utilized 120-degree workstations, creating a hub that included a 360-degree view of the new workspace, with its full-height intake video wall, a new glass studio, various flash camera locations and views of the U.S. Capitol.
“A combination of open and closed collaborative areas were included throughout the plan to provide everyone with flexible workspaces,” Young said. “Meridian worked closely with NBCU News Group leadership to assure that the right adjacencies and requirements were satisfied for each group.”
He added one of the most challenging parts of the project was the low ceiling heights, and overlaying the infrastructure required to support the networks’ 24-hour news operation and accompanying technical requirements.
“We were able to address this throughout the design process through the integration of 3D modeling coupled with our extensive knowledge of building systems,” he said, and noted that the project was also completed under tight on-air deadlines, on time and within the established budget, despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.