Designed by TPG Architecture, Mary M. Gates Learning Center at United Way Worldwide is located in Alexandria, VA, United States. The renovation began with removing approximately 40% of the original pre-cast concrete panels from the exterior of the annex building and replacing them with an energy efficient glass curtain wall system. The lobby entrance housed a massive cubiform passageway which, located directly in the centre of the lobby, obstructed use of the space. The new lobby was made twice as large, from 30′ to 60′ wide, and created a community space that would thrive in the natural light.
The increase in space was achieved by relocating the stair and foot bridge to a more favorable location and by co-opting the area of several underutilized rooms. Footbridges on the 2nd floor along the east and west perimeter walls were designed to create better circulation between the office tower and the Learning Centre, as well as to provide stunning second-story views of the Potomac River.