Category: Municipal
Location: Alexandria, VA
Size: 126036 sq. ft.
Masonry Used:Face Brick: 162,050 units Custom Stretcher Brick (12"): 2,480 units CMU (natural): 58,500 units
Submitted by: HDR Architecture, Inc.

Project Description


The new Alexandria Police Headquarters has transformed 6.7 acres of reclaimed brownfield into a civic landmark for the City of Alexandria. The project consists of a four-story, 126,000 square-foot headquarters facility, a 500-stall parking structure and a 7,000 square-foot special vehicle building. The three massing elements are interconnected through a series of elevated links and open green spaces. A landscaped public plaza leads visitors from the dedicated parking area to a large atrium lobby inside the main entrance. The atrium serves not only as a visual icon and organizational hub, but also as a means for filtering diffuse natural daylight deep into the building core. A modern building in its overall concept, the design employs materials, forms and details that visually connect to Alexandria's historic context and embrace the role that red brick has served for this community. The durable, static characteristics of brick and precast concrete invoke a sense of stability, power and permanence that symbolizes the Alexandria Police Department, while secondary cladding materials comprising steel, aluminum and glass are employed to define transitional spaces, access points and the 'bent plate' roof. The combination of running and stack bond coursing with rowlock and soldier detailing refine the scale and articulation of the brick facades. The project utilized an integrated, holistic approach among the owner, design team, construction team and material suppliers. For example, the construction team participated in the design process to communicate cost saving strategies and construction sequencing well before the final construction documents were released. The masons worked closely with the architects to study details, shadow lines, transitions and joints. This team collaboration resulted in a masonry project that is of the utmost quality and workmanship.


The Alexandria Police Headquarters was recently awarded Gold Certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Sustainable design was a top priority to the entire project team. Although there were several sustainable strategies implemented, energy efficiency and durable material selection were paramount to achieving the project's overall sustainability goals. Through an integrated design approach that leveraged efficiencies in mechanical, electrical and lighting design, the building is projected to achieve 31.8 percent energy savings relative to a similarly designed building. Additionally, the building's cladding materials were selected based not only on their aesthetic value, but also on time-tested durability. The City wanted a facility that would endure the next 50 years with little or no maintenance, while the design team sought a palette of materials that could contribute to the sustainable goals of the project. The collaborative selection resulted in a brick product made from indigenous clay that was manufactured within 30 miles of the site (Manassas, VA).


Our charge was to create a civic headquarters that represents the modern capabilities and innovative spirit of the police department, while respecting Alexandria's rich colonial heritage and traditional culture. We've delivered a contemporary interpretation which embodies the values of the city it serves, and revisits the relationship between form, materiality and function.

Project Participants

Architect / Designer's Name: Kent Bonner
Company: HDR Architecture, Inc.
Phone: (703) 518-8592

Structural Engineer' s Name: Michael Paczak
Company: HDR Architecture, Inc.
Phone: (703) 518-8500
General Contractor's Name: Bryan Embrey
Company: Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Phone: (301) 656-7800

Masonry Contractor's Name: Brian Thompson
Company: United Masonry Incorporated of Virginia
Phone: (703) 971-6840

Masonry Supplier's Name: Bruce Ladson
Company: Capital Brick & Tile
Phone: (301) 420-8484

Masonry Supplier's Name: Gary Clark
Company: Glen-Gery Brick
Phone: (410) 795-2912

Landscape Architect's Name: Kurt Parker
Company: Rhodeside & Harwell, Inc.
Phone: (703) 683-7447

Name: Jim Beight
Company: Dewberry
Phone: (703) 698-9052
Name: John Judge
Company: Desman Associates
Phone: (703) 448-1190
Name: Chris dePascale
Company: Dewberry
Phone: (703) 849-0682