The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown integrates a 1932 landmark incinerator building into a high-end mixed-use complex on a steeply sloping site in Washington D.C.'s highly-regulated Georgetown neighborhood. The mixed-use program consists of an 86-key Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 28 condominiums, a 14-screen theater, below-grade parking for 350 cars, and 8,000 square feet of retail space. A 40-foot height limitation and Floor-Area Ratio of only 2.5 eliminated the possibility of stacking program elements on top of the site. To solve this, approximately 50 percent of the program was carefully located underground. Residential buildings take full advantage of Potomac River views and are situated on top of the plinth along K Street. The theaters and parking facility are concealed within the plinth, while hotel buildings are located off quiet South Street.
The incinerator was transformed into the hotel's public spaces: the lobby, bar, restaurant, and meeting spaces. The smokestack itself became a private dining room 16 feet in diameter. In keeping with Georgetown's historic character, the buildings were crafted in brick, stone, and metal to make a contemporary statement of massing while reinterpreting the vernacular of the historic city. The interiors expose the essential structural components and contrast them with simple but richly textured furnishings and finishes.