The General Services Administration has awarded a $61-million contract to ZGF Architects LLP to be lead design architect for new Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters facilities in Washington, D.C.

The other short-listed firms competing for the project were Goody Clancy, Boston; Gund Partnership Inc., Cambridge, Mass.; Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects Inc., Boston; Robert A.M. Stern Architects LLP, New York City; and RTKL Associates Inc., Baltimore.

ZGF, formerly Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP, said in an April 1 release that its contract includes more than 2.1 million square feet of new office space for DHS at the St. Elizabeths Hospital site in the District of Columbia's Southeast section.

ZGF says that other members of its team are: Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering PC, Albany, N.Y.; Syska Hennessy Group, New York City; Olin, Philadelphia; and Thornton Tomasetti Inc., New York City

The ZGF contract encompasses a major part of a planned 4.5-million-sq.-ft. DHS headquarters complex at the St. Elizabeths site. That overall plan is the largest federal construction project since the Pentagon was built during World War II, according to Robert Peck, commissioner of GSA's Public Buildings Service.

ZGF's contract includes designing four new office buildings, an addition to an existing historic building, plus three parking garages and other facilities.

Those office buildings will house four DHS agencies--the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Transportation Security Administration.

ZGF says the project will be designed to meet the LEED Gold certification standard.

GSA announced the award on March 30 in a posting on

GSA in August awarded a $435-million construction contract to Clark Design-Build LLC, Bethesda, Md., for another large piece of the DHS-St.Elizabeths project, a new, 1.2-million-sq-ft headquarters for the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard headquarters is to be completed in 2013.