by Marshall E. Purnell, FAIA
AIA First Vice President
In the coming decade, the person Congress recommends and President Bush selects to be Architect of the Capitol for the next 10-year appointment will be managing facilities encompassing nearly 15 million square feet, including major renovations to historic buildings, while assuring, of course, that congressional activities are accommodated fully.
The position of the AIA in informing those key members of Congress who sit on the Architect of the Capitol Commission is that:
By education, training, and professional experience, the pool of American architects is the logical source for candidates for this job. The public interest requires that the design of all structures primarily for human habitation or use be done by a professional architect.
The AIA position, further, is that all viable candidates for the Architect of the Capitol position possess a wide range of knowledge and proven skills in areas such as:
- Large-facility management involving multidisciplinary teams overseeing complex schedules and tight budgets
- Diplomacy in resolving issues presented by public officials
- Consummate understanding of design
- Expertise in the latest building security and safety technologies
- Knowledge of the science of historic preservation.
Although professionals in other fields have mastery of various subsets of this range of skills, only professional architects—as required for licensure—possess all of them.
To drive home the importance of these points to the Architect of the Capitol Commission as it forms a shortlist this month of three nominations for the president's selection, we have contacted AIA members who are the commission members' constituents and asked them to petition those representatives and senators. Visit this page to see that petition.
What do you think?