American Association for the Advancement of Science

Washington, D.C.  Map
Lead Designers
Henry N. Cobb Michael W. Bischoff (auditorium)

This headquarters was designed not only to convey the special needs and mission of the institution but to serve as a flexible investment office building that could be profitably sold should AAAS relocate.

The design reinforces the universality of science through a rigorous procedural rationale by which the building form is diagonally bisected, creating an oblique spine that terminates at Washington’s busiest Metro station. Since most people approach the facility along that natural desire line, this rationale dictated the location of the main entrance, and other design features similarly evolved in relationship to this axis.

AAAS is renowned for its early adherence to the principles of sustainable design. The building consumes nearly 50 percent less energy than a typical commercial building of similar size, and its innovative lighting system reduces energy costs dramatically.

Show Facts

At the corner of New York Avenue and 12th Street, NW


260,000 ft2 / 24,000 m2 gross area; offices, public lobby with exhibition space and bookstore, teachers' laboratory/classroom, auditorium, meeting rooms, library, boardroom, AAAS lounge, staff cafeteria with outdoor terrace; underground parking


American Association for the Advancement of Science

PCF&P Services

Architecture; exterior envelope; interior design of public spaces


LEED Platinum Certified EB


First Place, Corporate Facility
Building Owners and Managers Association, Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter, 1998

In 2013 the AAAS headquarters became the first building in Washington, D.C., to receive LEED Platinum certification for an Existing Building.
Project Credits

Associate Architect: Davis & Carter, McLean, VA; Structural: KCE Structural Engineering, Washington, D. C.; Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing / Elevators / Lighting: Jaros Baum & Bolles, New York, NY; Foundations support system: Mueser Rutledge, New York; Environmental consultant: Croxton Collaborative, New York; Images: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Richard Payne, Maxwell Mackenzie, Timothy Hursley