AIA headquarters renderings
Lobby and courtyard
More from AIA
Building renewal FAQs
This is the first renovation since AIA headquarters was dedicated in 1973. Although functional, most of the building’s major systems are original. In addition, single-pane windows and lack of exterior wall insulation make the building inefficient. Renovating 1735 New York Avenue provides an opportunity for AIA to demonstrate the power of positive design solutions.
Art, history, and religion
Brutalism and the AIA’s headquarters
Brutalism is an architectural style characterized by rigid geometry, heavy massing, and its chief material, poured concrete. It is an expression of Modern architecture in the 20th century that privileges function and form equally, and Brutalism has also become an expression—or perhaps a symptom—of post-World War II urban renewal in England, France, Belgium, Japan, and the United States. As a term, it was coined by the architects Alison and Peter Smithson as what they called a design "ethic" (rather than an aesthetic) to functional and inexpensive housing in the 1950s, but it was popularized by the architecture critic Reyner Banham as "New Brutalism." Semantics aside, Banham identified three characteristics of what he saw as an architectural movement: a clearly articulated structure, a preference for raw and unfinished concrete with evidence of its wooden formwork, and a memorable and recognizable overall form of the building. The name Brutalism, itself, is an anglicization of béton brut, or raw concrete, used by Le Corbusier to describe his own 1952 apartment project Unité d'Habitation in Marseilles, France.