Inter-American Defense College Renovation Wins DBIA National Award of Merit

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC (August 2023)


The Inter-American Defense College (IADC) historic renovation, designed by KCCT, was recognized with a Design-Build Institute of America National Award of Merit. It has been a monumental year for the project as this marks the fourth award in 2023.

The renovation transitioned the Fort McNair officers' club into an education facility for the IADC, positioning the building to meet the goals of bringing together students from countries with different political, social, and economic viewpoints to capture the dynamics more fully within the hemisphere and develop collaborative responses to defense and security concerns.


“KCCT is honored to be selected by the National DBIA Award Committee for the renovation of the IADC,” said Gayle Kirchmar, AIA, Principal at KCCT. “Navigating a federal design-build historic renovation, KCCT was able to provide a design that restored this historic building to the original McKim, Mead & White design intent while transforming it into a contemporary learning facility.”

The design team restored a 49-foot mural, recreated the original wooden entry door, relocated an historic archway, daylighted previously bricked-over windows, and added life safety systems that did not intrude the historic structure.  The top two levels are referential to the historic design while the main level provides a teaching center to support active learning.

DBIA award winners are selected by a distinguished panel of industry experts and are recognized as the nation’s best design-build projects and leadership in best practices.

The project team will be recognized at the DBIA Design-Build Conference & Expo Awards Ceremony in November 2023.

Firm History

Washington, DC-based KCCT is a multidisciplinary design firm focused on planning, architecture, and interior design in urban environments. The firm’s unique practice features a regional portfolio ranging from historic preservation to institutional and commercial designs. With nearly 40 years of experience in international design, KCCT also brings a global perspective to our work with diplomatic, military, and transportation projects in over 185 cities abroad. KCCT’s values are innovative design, technical quality, and an unwavering dedication to service.




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