Quaker Welcome Center

FCNL Education Fund

Washington, DC


Located across the street from the U.S. Capitol, the Friends Committee for National Legislation had acquired the 1860s townhouse immediately adjacent to their headquarters. This three story brick building, in the Capitol Hill Historic District, had been modified and expanded over the years; most recently in the 1980s when it was converted into four residential rental units.


The program called for creation of a new flexible meeting space on the ground floor while maintaining four rental units on the upper floors.  The mission for the new Welcome Center is to provide a peaceful place for dialogue and the promotion of peace, justice, and environmental sustainability.


The GBR design preserved the original historic structure fronting C Street N.E.  The original first floor parlor was renovated to create a living room style space for small gatherings.  The rear addition was removed and re-imagined as a larger flexible meeting space that flows through a folding glass wall into a quiet garden.


Sustainable design strategies were incorporated into the renovation with a focus on creating a healthy interior environment while minimizing the building’s carbon footprint. The completed building features non-toxic, locally-sourced materials, green roofs, solar panels, pervious hardscape, and energy-efficient systems.