BETHESDA, Maryland – After six years of planning, design and construction, Marriott International has opened its global headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The 21-story, 785,000 square foot building is the new workplace for corporate employees and supports over 8,100 hotels in 139 countries and territories around the world.
“We are very pleased to welcome employees to our new headquarters,” said Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International. “The campus was designed to better connect our global workforce and support our hotels and teams around the world. Empowering people and accelerating innovation have been our top priorities and have been at the heart of every decision we’ve made to create a powerful environment for people to work, learn and thrive.”
Marriott’s headquarters campus, which includes the Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott HQ hotel next door, is designed through spaces and technology for connectivity, collaboration, growth, ideation and well-being. The building will also serve as a global hub for Marriott’s research and development operations, with its innovation and design lab, test kitchen and beverage bar, and “model” hotel rooms in the adjacent Marriott hotel, utilizing concepts and design elements, service concepts and Amenities are being tested for potential use across the company’s portfolio.
“The unveiling of our new global headquarters is an extraordinary way to celebrate our 95 years of culture and innovation,” said David Marriott, CEO of Marriott International. “This campus honors our rich history and roots in the local community while presenting Marriott’s exciting next chapter of growth as we remain committed to our goal of connecting people through the power of travel.”
Marriott combines in-person and virtual connectivity to enhance the employee experience, enable collaboration for its global workforce and increase business performance. This working model is responsive to employee feedback and will allow Marriott to continue to attract, develop and retain talent. The decision for a hybrid working model was made with the corporate values ”Put People First and Embrace Change”.
Offices, including executive offices, line the interior of the building so every employee workspace has an outside view and every desk has access to natural light and a sit-stand desk. Collaboration stations with mixed seating are located on each work floor. Formal meeting rooms with technology, writable surfaces, and video capabilities are also available for larger meetings.
As part of the company’s commitment to putting people first, Marriott has created an Employee Growth Center located on the top floor of its headquarters and named after the company’s longtime CEO and Chairman of the Board, JW Marriott, Jr is. who is now the company’s CEO Emeritus. The JW Marriott, Jr. Associate Growth Center represents the company’s commitment to its employees. The Growth Center will host both live and virtual experiences to enable the company’s global workforce to participate, including leadership development programs, skills development curricula, speakers, new hire orientation and networking events.
Marriott has prioritized childcare, family support and wellness as offerings at its headquarters. Building amenities include a 7,500-square-foot health and fitness center; a wellness suite that includes a lactation room, meditation rooms, massage chairs, and treadmill tables; wellness, medical resources and health advisors; and a nearly 11,000 square foot childcare center for up to 91 children (from toddler to age five) with approximately 6,600 square feet of covered outdoor space for all-weather play, among many other employee-focused facilities.
Marriott’s Design Lab is an 8,400-square-foot hospitality industry research and design laboratory where Marriott’s partnerships and collaborations with companies are explored, product tested and further developed for scaling, first within its hotel brands and ultimately across the industry. Room27, the Design Lab’s main room, is named after the company’s founding year, 1927. It will be housed along with the F+B Design Studio, an approximately 4,400 square meter test kitchen and bar area.
The adjacent Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott’s headquarters will serve as an extension of Marriott’s Design Lab and will contain 13 exemplary “test rooms,” each of which can be customized to reflect different brands. These active rooms, named Floor57 after the year the company first entered the lodging business, are poised to leverage design, technology and new product and service offerings with customers and other key stakeholders.
The company intends to name the outdoor public space between the hotel and its new headquarters, Sorenson Plaza, in honor of the company’s late CEO, Arne M. Sorenson, who passed away in 2021. Arne was involved in the design of the new headquarters and was also excited by the prospect that the square would be a meeting place for employees and a space for the community. In addition, part of the main lobby is also open to the public. The lobby features a public cafe, which offers indoor and outdoor seating that extends into the plaza, and a “Cabinet of Curiosities,” a collection of items from Marriott’s past and present.
The building was designed by Gensler, the lead project architect, with Hensel Phelps acting as general contractor on the project for the building’s core structure. Rand* Construction acted as the general contractor for the building’s interior design project. The building is owned by The Bernstein Companies and Boston Properties. Marriott officially celebrated the completion of its phased move-in on September 19, 2022 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.