AIA NOVA Recognizes OTJ Architects for the Design of Sands Capital Management

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The Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NOVA) recently recognized OTJ’s design for the new workplace of Sands Capital Management.

Sands Capital Management

The team has delivered a superb workplace that carries high aesthetic value and, most importantly, serves our client’s business objectives: retaining and attracting talent.

AIA NOVA recently awarded a Juror’s Special Citation in the Commercial Interiors division of their yearly competition to OTJ Architects for the design of Sands Capital Management’s office.

Sands Capital Management is a staff-owned growth investor that parlays a research focused approach into high-performance portfolio solutions and fosters a workplace culture grounded in collaboration, integrity, and mentorship. The design of this “trophy” workplace located in Arlington, VA aims to facilitate the retention of top talent in the hyper-competitive international finance industry. To that end, the project was driven by the dual imperatives of staff member wellness and connectivity.

Ania Leeson, OTJ's Partner for the Sands Capital project, remarked: “The financial world is one that does not stop at 5 p.m. so creating a connected environment within the office and beyond was critical.” In response, our designers articulated the floorplate around a central, signature staircase that links four floors physically and symbolically.

A fully stocked coffee bar and a penthouse café surround this staircase and function as magnet spaces to draw staff members into casual collision points rich in opportunities for cross-departmental exchange. Camie Bingham, OTJ's Design Director and interior design lead on this project, noted that “each floor needed to have a unique amenity to attract people from the other floors.” In addition a glass-enclosed trading room is centrally positioned to invite staff members to gather and connect with each other and their industry.

Above all else, however, the space was intentionally designed not to feel corporate. Instead, plush common areas nod to boutique hotels with a game room, inviting lounges, and a rooftop conference space complete with an indoor/outdoor fireplace and panoramic view of the Washington monuments.

Lance Jaccard, OTJ's Managing Partner, noted: “We’re honored to be recognized by the AIA. The team has delivered a superb workplace that carries high aesthetic value and, most importantly, serves our client’s business objectives: retaining and attracting talent.”

About OTJ Architects
OTJ Architects is a well-respected national interior architecture design firm that has successfully completed thousands of projects throughout the country. Founded in 1990, OTJ is comprised of six studios headquartered in Washington, DC, with more than 85 architects and designers, many of whom are LEED and WELL Accredited Professionals. We are workplace designers who focus on you – your goals and your opportunities – to create a unique vision of your future work environment. Our goal is to constantly challenge ourselves to design better, smarter workplaces that allow people to work strategically, flexibly and with a better quality of life. For more information, please visit

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Liz Marshall
OTJ Architects
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