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Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
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.”
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