History

About the CIT Complex

A national ideas competition, backed by a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, was held in 1985 to generate concepts for a new building type. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University orchestrated the competition. Designed by Arquitectonica and Ward/Hall Associates, the angled faces of the buildings capture their surroundings to reflect and transform the landscape. Perception of the building from the air was considered in the design due to proximity to Dulles International Airport.  The design of the complex is comprised of an office tower, research building, auditorium, conference center and cafeteria totaling 150,000 square feet with a 430 car secure parking garage beneath the complex.

A broad, low parallelogram that seems to slide horizontally off its foundation and a tower that angles toward the sky with reflective glass windows arranged to emphasize the building’s verticality, the buildings are connected by a glass enclosed curvilinear atrium lobby and exhibition space designed to provide transparency to the surrounding area and to ensure landscaped features were dominant. Multi-level terrace and original landscape design by landscape architect Martha Schwartz. The structural system is a reinforced concrete structure on mat foundations and spread footings.