Blend Beauty With Security in D.C. Architecture

Architecture conference in D.C.

By Tom Sherwood
|  Friday, May 18, 2012  |  Updated 7:35 AM EDT
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Keeping the nation safe should not ruin the look of buildings in D.C. That's the message of almost 20,000 of the nation's leading architects who are meeting in the District this week. Tom Sherwood reports.

Tom Sherwood

Keeping the nation safe should not ruin the look of buildings in D.C. That's the message of almost 20,000 of the nation's leading architects who are meeting in the District this week. Tom Sherwood reports.

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In the nation's capital, security fears have led to all sorts of barriers and restrictions around many buildings both public and private, but architects meeting in Washington this week say security designs don't have to be ugly.

More than 18,000 architects and other professionals are in town for the American Institute of Architects National Convention, exploring tougher glass for buildings, energy efficient lighting, building communication and, increasingly, how to blend quality architecture with modern security fears.

“The mall is the front porch of the nation,” said Robert Ivy, CEO of the American Institute of Architects.

But many federal and private buildings are ugly bunkers blaring security fears when more should be simple like the small wall that encircles the Washington Monument.

The message is security and function are partners, not competitors.

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