Real Estate

Is This Thing What Millennials Really Want at The Office?

This meditation/nap/yoga room is in the basement of a downtown DC office building. Photos by Alexandra Martone Photography; Martone Construction built the space.

The structure’s owner and architect call it a “meditation room”— but that doesn’t seem to do it justice. It’s more of a pod. You might even argue it’s a cabin.

Whatever you call it, it’s in the basement of the building at 1110 Vermont Ave., NW  “to attract, retain, and appease the younger workforce of today,” says Matthew Lefkowitz, a representative of the building’s owner, Epic. “We wanted to think in the Millennial mindset.”

With DC’s office vacancy rate at its highest point in decades, it’s not surprising that landlords are getting creative to keep occupants in place. Lefkowitz says the pod is also intended for napping and yoga (the building offers free classes inside it). It was designed by architect Gavin Daniels of Wingate Hughes, who also included a game area, conference room, and bar and lounge space in the basement.

Daria Hall, who works in the building at nonprofit America’s Promise Alliance, says her employer often uses the conference room and lounge, but she and her colleagues weren’t sure what to make of the pod: “We actually didn’t quite know what it was supposed to be used for. But it sounds like meditation—is that what you said?”

There should be no ambiguity about the landlord’s next move: free beer. Lefkowitz says they’re in the process of getting a liquor license so they can have a keg in the basement on Fridays.

The building offers free yoga classes inside the pod twice a week.
The structure is lit from underneath to make it look like it’s floating.
Pool and other games are right outside.
The river rocks surrounding the meditation room are meant to give it a zen-garden feel, says architect Gavin Daniels.
The lounge area was designed to resemble a skate park.
The building’s owner is in the process of getting a liquor license so they can serve beer out of a keg on Fridays.
There’s a conference room down there, too.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She has recently written about the Marriott family’s civil war and the 50-year rebirth of 14th Street, and reported the definitive oral history of the Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt case. She lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.