If you haven’t already been following along, you might not know that in recent months, I’ve been exploring the who’s who and what’s what of architecture in DC. I mean, we all know DC is home to some interesting architecture – both modern-day, historical, and just about every era and style in between. But who is behind the city’s walls? The city’s streets? Who has planned them, brick by brick and stone by stone? The answers I have been looking for, of course, are long-winded and multi-dimensional. But, today, I will shine the spotlight on at least one piece of the puzzle: CORE Architecture Group.

CORE has been around for just as long as the millennial generation that is just now owning the home and rental market, founded in 1991 as a design-oriented firm providing excellent service to the DC area. The group was founded by Dale A Stewart, who now acts as one of the firm’s principals alongside other industry experts Guy Martin, Allison Cooke, and David Cheney.

The team certainly leads by example, with a noteworthy amount of experience under their belt. Speaking to the Principals alone, Stewart holds over 35 years of experience in the DC area, ranging to include everything from historic preservation to commercial interiors. He’s a licensed architect in fourteen states and has been the recipient of local and national design awards over the course of his career. Martin has been on the forefront of architecture in the area for over 30 years, after earning an extensive education from Princeton University. He is licensed in 10 states and has lectured at multiple universities in the past. Cooke, who is in charge of the firm’s hospitality design, is particularly passionate and involved in restaurant work – though she also has experience ranging to include library interiors, residential buildings, offices, hotels, and more. She is NCIDQ Certified and a LEED Accredited professional. Cheney, the firm’s fourth principal, is in charge of technical direction and the Director of Operations. He is registered in five states and NCARB certified.

The best part about oohing and aahing over CORE’s head people is that their capabilities only become more apparent as you move down the list. The team also has Ann Marie Avellino as their Business Manager/Controller, Christina Schlecht as Director of Marketing, and an impressive bunch of experienced, creative, and ever-evolving associates to boot.

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If you’re strolling around town, you’re bound to run into some of CORE’s award winning work. They’re the schemers behind Dean & Deluca Marketplace, DC Public’s Library – Mt Pleasant Branch (which won the AIA DC Award of Merit), COMET Ping Pong (which one the Best Casual Restaurant by the Hospitality Design Magazine HD Award), Cava Grill (if you’re not familiar, go and get yourself the salad of a lifetime), Eckington Place, Founding Farmers (named Project of the Year, National Capital Green Building Council), Cotton and Reed, The Fish Market & Pop’s Ice Cream, and many, many more buildings that DCers stroll by, indulge in, and visit regularly.

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Most recently in the news for completing their West End library project, the group is thrilled to have designed a 21,000 square-foot space that hosts over 40,000 books, predicted to become one of the city’s most visited libraries. Their core values – exploration, experience, clients, and trust certainly shine through in that project as they do in all of the ones they so proudly display on their online portfolio. If you want to know where they’ll make their mark next, follow along on Twitter at @coredc.

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