Hotel Monaco DC is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., across the street from the Smithsonian Institution and situated amidst the historic General Post Office built in 1839. The hotel set out to make a bold, one-of-a-kind architectural statement with a new onsite location for Dirty Habit, the second installment of a popular restaurant in San Francisco.
Since the General Post Office is a National Historic Landmark, the new space was required by law to preserve visibility to the post office’s classical revival façade, which would mean incorporating significant structural glass. Architects were tasked to find a way to control glare and heat gain inside while maximizing the views outside. The HVAC system on the roof also had to be as lightweight as possible to ensure an all-glass wall system could support it.
The project team was pleased to discover that electronically tintable SageGlass® glazing resolved every design challenge it faced.
Covering 2,042 square feet across the entire restaurant façade and a skylight, SageGlass automatically darkens or clears in response to sun movement throughout the day. Glare and solar heat gain are controlled inside the restaurant at all times to keep diners comfortable and the view unobstructed, complying with the requirements set forth by the historical preservation committee. The resulting reductions in cooling requirements also allowed a more compact and lightweight HVAC system to be installed on the roof.
Today, Dirty Habit DC is a bustling culinary destination for tourists and locals alike, treating an international clientele to a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The visually arresting, all-glass façade complements the surrounding classical revival architecture, upholding the edgy aesthetic that Hotel Monaco set out to create. The restaurant also features a massive patio that occupies an entire city block.
Dirty Habit is currently the only restaurant on the East Coast featuring dynamic glass. But the concept is a popular topic of conversation in and around the restaurant, and it has captured the imagination of developers and designers around the world.
“SageGlass was the missing piece we needed to satisfy this project’s many stakeholders,” said Michael Stanton, principal of Stanton Architecture. “This single technology tied everything together. It allowed us to create a comfortable and unique experience inside that maximizes the historical views, from a structure that really draws attention to itself from the curb.”