By Susan Bodiker - December 6, 2017
The ultra-modern building at 1111 24th St. NW was designed by Enrique Norten, whose firm's portfolio includes the New York Public Library. (photo by Greg Powers)
You know what they say about people in glass houses: They have all the best views.
And to anyone passing by the Westlight, the new all-glass condominium building at 1111 24th St. NW, the views of and inside this distinctive cantilevered structure are simply breathtaking.
The ultra-modern building was designed by the internationally acclaimed Enrique Norten, founder and director of TEN Arquitectos, the Mexico City firm whose U.S. portfolio includes such recent works as the New York Public Library, Miami Design District and Rutgers Business School. The Westlight reflects — in more ways than one — his belief that the focus of architecture should extend beyond the building to the public space where topography, landscape and infrastructure intersect and connect into one coherent whole.
With this project, these elements come together beautifully and organically, starting with the dramatic lobby. It is anchored on the south side by a 50-foot-wide living green wall and, on the west, by a massive egg-shaped light installation (designed by Ingo Maurer) that keeps time in gently sweeping arcs. Cantilever support columns in select apartments do double duty as an interior and exterior design feature. When viewed from the street, they seem to climb through the building in a distinct and rhythmic pattern, lending additional visual interest and energy to the undulating facade.
The Westlight is named for its West End address and its sun-filled rooms. It includes 71 condominium units among 10 stories, comprising 49 different floor plans — from one-bedroom units (631 to 750 square feet and already all sold out) to three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath and den layouts (2,218 to 3,051 square feet). Prices for the remaining units range from $1,385,000 to $4,500,000 and include parking. Monthly condo fees are calculated at $1.05 per square foot.
The building’s glass walls and cantilever design ensure that every apartment is abundantly lit and is also exceptionally quiet — street sounds are refracted. You’re also not likely to hear your neighbors, either, thanks to the exceptional soundproofing behind the walls, between floors and in the hallways where acoustical felt panels muffle any extraneous noise.
At 2,249 square feet, model unit 7F — featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a den and listed for $2,715,000 with a monthly condo fee of $2,409.30 — is a good example of the Westlight aesthetic. Like every apartment in the building, it features 5-inch plank oak flooring with scratch-resistant cashmere finish; elegant bathrooms; and Euro-chic kitchens with Italian high-gloss white cabinets, quartzite counters and chef’s-grade appliances. Rooms are spacious with excellent flow. And while you’re surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls, you never feel exposed. Every apartment is fitted with Hunter Douglas louvered shades that filter light and protect privacy.
To the left of the gallery-like entry hall is the bedroom wing, where all is serene and sleek. Past the hall’s full guest bath is a wide wardrobe closet and bedroom with a view of the building’s rear courtyard. Next door is the master bedroom with a deep walk-in closet and en-suite bath with Waterworks fixtures, glass shower with IPE custom teak flooring, Toto commode and double-sink high-gloss vanity. At the end of the hall is a sizable laundry room.
Outside both bedrooms extending off the exterior glass wall is a narrow ledge planted with enviro-friendly evergreen turf. Not every apartment has this feature, but here it’s a good reminder of how the Westlight blends the beauty of nature with modernist cool.
To the right of the entry hall is the living/entertaining space, set off by a huge expanse of glass on the far wall. This great room, designed for maximum flexibility, includes a den/office that opens into a living room, dining room and open kitchen. For all its splendor, the kitchen blends into the background. It doesn’t scream high-end. Instead, it delivers superior functionality and refinement with a Porcelanosa tile backsplash, a thoughtfully placed island and integrated appliances: a Thermador refrigerator and Bosch ovens, dishwasher, microwave and gas cooktop.
LEED-certified and luxuriously appointed, the Westlight also offers a host of amenities, including 24-hour concierge and staffed services; a business center; state-of-the-art fitness center; private rooftop club room and catering kitchen with fabulous red lacquer cabinets; two outdoor decks, one of them with grilling stations and other food-prep options; and a 25-meter heated rooftop pool with magnificent panoramic views of the city and handicap-accessible ramp. Residents can also take advantage of a dog-washing station, bicycle storage, underground parking and individual storage lockers.
Located at 24th and L streets NW, the building is within walking distance of Dupont Circle, Georgetown and the Kennedy Center. It’s about three blocks from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro station and not much farther to the Dupont stop.