News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Flashback Monday: Pointy Building, Square Chairs

No, this isn't an outtake from the set of Logan's Run, but the fancy John Wesley Powell Federal Building, or as it's better known, the USGS Headquarters, which when it opened in 1974, became one of Reston's largest employers -- a distinction which it retains to this day. But it's no ordinary office park -- it used geometry and everything!
[Architect] Walter Netsch’s design applied his trademark Field Theory, a method of rotating square and orthogonal shapes according to rules of Euclidean geometry.
Sounds pretty awesome. But while the building is all pointy and "Euclidean," check out the lobby, where purveyors of geological stuff sat while waiting to show their wares to various federal employees:

Sweet! Those "seating units" look like they combine the ambiance of a bus station waiting area with the comforting sense of being enclosed that was offered by those groovy egg chairs that were all the rage at the same time. All you'd need is a set of old-school stereo headsets ("cans," as the kids called them) and the latest Zep album, and all would be right in the world, the end.


  1. The Convict in the GulagNovember 16, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    They need a parking garage instead of all of that surface parking. Allowing some of that area to return to trees and grass would help with stormwater run off issues.

  2. The chairs look like the "Bumbo" chairs people use for babies...but back before there was such a thing as "Squishable" plastic. OUCH.

  3. I've never been in the building but a lobby with lots of open seating seems nice


  4. Convict - more than half the site is treed all ready. I'd rather not waste huge tax dollars on unnecessary parking structures.


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).