In 2005 Design Army, an accolade-laden Washington DC graphic design firm, looked for a new space to locate its growing business. After a concentrated search, Design Army was able to purchase an abandoned and dilapidated building in the City's NOMA (North of Massachusetts Avenue) District. Destroyed in the riots of 1968, the NOMA District had laid dormant for over 30 years before being identified as a focus redevelopment zone in the City's master plan.Programmatically, Design Army needed to gut and expand the structure from a two to a three and a half story building. The eight person firm needed two and half floors of studio space as well as a street-front retail space they could lease to supplement the operating costs of the new building. The architects were aware that the new zoning overlay about to be adopted for the neighborhood would make this impossible by restricting the building to three floors. The architects were able to work with the planning commission and zoning board to obtain a variance that allowed a mezzanine roof deck and kitchen area. In 2008, Design Army took possession of a luminous new space that reinforces their clients' confidence to hire a graphic design firm capable of "designs that resonate with intelligence, relevance and professionalism."