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Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)

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1985–1989, Arquitectonica with Ward/Hall Associates. 2214 Rock Hill Rd., Herndon. Inquire at desk for admission.
  • (By Gregory F. Maxwell PGP:0xB0413BFA (Own work) [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons)

Visible from Dulles Airport and surrounding roads, CIT is an entry in the “airport sweepstakes,” the competition to create eye-catching advertising forms in the vast wastelands that surround airports. It is a controversial building with a controversial purpose: to provide space for high-technology companies that the commonwealth of Virginia wished to attract to the area. Cost-conscious governments, however, have cut most of the support funds and turned it into rental spaces. The building's design resulted from a “national ideas” architectural competition, from which one of the finalists, Jennifer Luce, was subsequently hired by the Arquitectonica firm of Miami. One of Arquitectonica's partners, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, pursued the commission in a joint venture with Ward/Hall of Fairfax. The final design reflects the impact of the deconstructivist movement in architecture with its upside-down truncated pyramid rising out of a back podium base, angled planes, semicircular forms, and contrasting colored glass curtain walls. Each of the parts originally contained a specific function: the pyramid for offices, the horizontal parallelogram for software production, and the wedge for an auditorium. The interior, with its juxtaposed grids, is equally unsettling. But this is an extremely impressive example of “Decon.”

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)", [Herndon, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 60-60.

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