The Japan Information and Culture Center is a subsidiary of the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC. This 7,500 square foot retail tenant, located at 1150 18th St. NW hosts a number of functions for the organization. The location and upgraded image of the new space is a welcome change for the Center which lacked such exposure in its previous location. The new JICC will showcase Japanese Culture to a range of visitors, including visitors and those interested in great depth.
The space features an Art Gallery and 130-seat theater for both stage performances and film screenings. A small audio, video and literary library resides just off the gallery space and will have personal computer stations for guests to experience these medias. Administrative offices round off the space’s offerings.
The space showcases typical Japanese stone and wood finishes as well as custom Shoji Screens at the expansive window locations. The clean and efficient lighting schemes allow for the Gallery space to both highlight works of art as well as function as a gathering space and reception area for evening performances. While extensive, the scope was carefully restricted so as to not exceed price limits that would require bringing the building fully up to code (for example, reconfiguring the non-conforming egress stairs). Making sure that improvements did not exceed this budget cap was critical to the project’s success. WDG’s designs came in within budget, and the owner was able to expand the scope of renovations beyond what was originally foreseen.
Design of 7,500-sf cultural center and auditorium.