Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) desired a new, vibrant space—one that would elevate the organization’s image above that ordinarily conveyed by the traditional, unexciting, and generic style of financial institutions.  CFP Board challenged DBI to create a “sexy and unique” space that would enhance collaboration and communication between their internal departments while providing a stimulating backdrop to capture a positive energy throughout.

You are immediately welcomed on the 8th floor at 1425 K Street with high-gloss wall panels in CFP Board Signature canary yellow and video monitors that are often playing the latest marketing or CFP Board commercials. A crisp clean palette of warm whites, rift cut oak, stainless steel, and accents of yellow and teal hues invite you in to the main reception area. DBI developed an open/multi-functional reception space that can be utilized as a simple waiting area or easily reconfigured for large all-staff gatherings by retracting the main conference rooms’ glass walls to a remote location. DBI felt there was nothing sexier than using over 42,000 pennies to design a one-of-a-kind feature wall to serve as the backdrop to the main reception desk while it visually accompanies travelers of the new monumental staircase. The design itself was created by pin mounting pennies on dowels at three different depths to create movement throughout.

The break room was intentionally located on the opposite side of the elevator lobby to serve as a catering space to support the multiple events that occur within the reception and conference areas. The main bar counter is centrally located to allow an organized flow for all catered events. Many other seating types are included within this break room. All utilitarian functions are hidden within the support pantry space that is adjacent to this main break room.

DBI also designed a media-editing studio for CFP Board to record both audio and video content as well as a 3,000 sq. ft. call center located on the 7th floor.

The private office space creates an open efficient studio that promotes collaboration and creative success while retaining privacy. Floor-to-ceiling glass in all enclosed offices maintains a visual connection to the adjacent open areas while allowing all workstations to benefit from the natural light projected throughout the space. The open studio areas are purposely interrupted in a rhythmic order with canary yellow accents to define the neighborhoods of workstations and departments.

This new headquarters provides this association a team-based, collaborative working environment that enhances communication and productivity so that CFP Board members can be optimally served. Additionally, a state-of-the-art conferencing facility utilizes the latest in audio-visual technology. New ways of working, rapid and concise communications, and cost-effective operations are the hallmarks for this new headquarters.


26,712 SF


Washington, DC


February 2014


2015 IIDA Design Award

Project Team

Coakley Williams
Loring Engineering
Price Modern

Photos © Eric Taylor