Arena Stage and the Southwest Waterfront (USGBC National Capital Region) | U.S. Green Building Council
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Sponsored article: Arena Stage provides the perfect backdrop for USGBC National Capital Region's annual event, while The Wharf development across the street seeks to achieve LEED status.

For the second year in a row, USGBC National Capital Region hosted its annual A Midsummer Night’s Green at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. This event is the premier summer social for the Washington, D.C., green building community. Arena Stage’s location in the Southwest Waterfront—a neighborhood that is quickly evolving into one of the District’s most exciting new areas—as well as the venue’s history, makes it the perfect location for hosting this event.  

Arena Stage is a not-for-profit theater, and was one of first of its kind in the United States, known for being a pioneer of the regional theater movement. Each year, Arena Stage welcomes more than 300,000 audience members through its doors to enjoy productions in its three theaters. 

Arena Stage

Established as a company in 1950, the theater company had its building located in the Southwest Waterfront originally constructed in 1960. More recently, the complex underwent a two-year, $135 million renovation pioneered by the team of Bing Thom Architects and Fast + Epp consulting engineers.

Through the renovation, the team designed the main columns for the building, while leaving the two larger theaters, The Fichlandler Stage and the Kreeger Theater, largely untouched. The theaters’ connecting structures were demolished and are now surrounded by a glass curtain wall and incorporated into a larger building. Additionally, the renovation included the construction of the Kogod Cradle Theater, where USGBC National Capital Region held its annual awards for the second year in a row. Following this renovation, Arena Stage has become the second largest performing arts center in the District, after the Kennedy Center.

For the past three years, the team at Arena Stage has watched the formation of the city’s largest new development, dubbed The Wharf, from across the street. The project is led by the development team of PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette. Not only is this development the largest in the city, it is one of the largest along the East Coast, encompassing over a mile of shoreline and 24,000 acres of space. Opening ceremonies for Phase I of this project are planned for this October. Phase I will include new apartment towers and condos, hotels, piers, restaurants and a 6,000-seat concert venue. Plans for Phase II of this project were just submitted earlier this year and have proposed an additional 1.2 million square feet of new buildings.

The Wharf on the Southeast D.C. waterfront

Image provided by The Wharf.

Although new development is nothing new to the District and its surrounding areas, something unique about The Wharf is that the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront group has committed to building the project with sustainability in mind, in order to develop the neighborhood into a lasting waterfront community.

The entire Wharf development has been designed to achieve and is seeking LEED Gold under LEED for Neighborhood Development, and individual buildings are designed to achieve LEED Gold or Silver. The project includes public parks and piers to encourage the surrounding community to enjoy the waterfront. Also, the development will include multiple forms of on-site sustainable energy production, including a cogeneration plant and solar PV systems. 

USGBC National Capital Region is excited to be host this year’s event again at Arena Stage, in a neighborhood that so many in the green building and the commercial real estate community have seen evolve over the past three years.