A new National Public Radio (NPR) building in DC opened on April 15. NPR moved its world headquarters from 635 Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest to a new location in the NoMa neighborhood at 1111 North Capitol Street in Northeast DC. NoMa is a redevelopment zone north of Capitol Hill and Union station.
The project, designed by Hickok Cole Architects, cost $201 million. The NPR building is a new seven story building connected to a refurbished warehouse that was originally built in 1926. The design also includes an open, two-story newsroom with 18 video screens for collaboration between news, music, programming and digital staff. Plus, the building is environmentally friendly, earning a LEED Gold certification. Eco-friendly features include a green roof, bike racks for 72 bicycles, and a garage with electric vehicle charging stations. On a fun note, the NPR building elevators feature the voice of longtime staff member Susan Stamberg.
The move allowed NPR to leave their analog equipment and tape machines behind to inhabit a new facility with all digital gear. This modernization supports NPR’s function as a 24/7 multimedia operation, rather than simply a radio broadcaster. The new NPR building is designed to support public radio needs far into the future. Another benefit of the new location is that all local staff are now consolidated in a single building including NPR News, digital, NPR Music, technical, and administrative staff.
The new NPR building is not just for employees; the public is also invited to visit. In fact, the new studios were designed with public viewing areas. Tours of the new NPR building start on June 3 on weekdays at 11 AM. A physical store, the NPR Commons, will also open in June. The store will feature a brick and mortar experience for the items you can currently find in the NPR Shop online.
But visitors don’t even need to enter the building to benefit from the new NPR building. When standing on the street, passersby on the street can look inside to view NPR content on two digital display walls in the lobby. So before you can get inside in June, take a sneak peak at the new NPR building.