1924 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Green from its food to its design, Founding Farmers, a new restaurant located in the Pei Cobb Freed & Partners–designed International Monetary Fund Headquarters 2 in Washington, D.C., celebrates the journey of produce from farm to table as much as it does sustainable design. Owned and commissioned by the North Dakota Farmer’s Union, a collective of more than 40,000 family farmers, the restaurant is envisioned as a modern translation of the traditional farm. Designed by Washington, D.C.–based CORE architecture + design, the project incorporates materials traditional to an American farm, including wooden beams, white-washed barn wood, and standing-seam metal, according to founding principal and partner Peter Hapstak. These classic materials are reinterpreted and reappropriated alongside familiar architectural forms like the silo-inspired booths inside. To make the design sustainable, wood flooring was reclaimed from an Atlanta textile mill, and furniture was made from wood harvested from Pennsylvania forests and manufactured in North Carolina, all within 500 miles of the job site. With an array of other energy- and waste-saving strategies—including kitchen recycling and composting areas—Founding Farmers has become the first LEED Gold restaurant in D.C., and one of just 19 in the United States.