2 . 3 Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture
1 The policy shall be to provide requisite and adequate facilities in an architectural style
and form which is distinguished and which will reflect the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and
stability of the American National Government. Major emphasis should be placed on
the choice of designs that embody the finest contemporary American architectural thought.
Specific attention should be paid to the possibilities of incorporating into such designs
qualities which reflect the regional architectural traditions of that part of the Nation
in which buildings are located. Where appropriate, fine art should be incorporated in the
designs, with emphasis on the work of living American artists. Designs shall adhere to
sound construction practice and utilize materials, methods and equipment of prove n
dependability. Buildings shall be economical to build, operate and maintain, and should
be accessible to the handicapped.
2 The development of an official style must be avoided. Design must flow from the
architectural profession to the Government, and not vice versa. The Government should
be willing to pay some additional cost to avoid excessive uniformity in design of Federal
buildings. Competitions for the design of Fe d e ral buildings may be held where appropriate.
The advice of distinguished architects ought to, as a rule, be sought prior to the award
of important design contracts.
3 The choice and development of the building site should be considered the first step
of the design process. This choice should be made in cooperation with local agencies.
Special attention should be paid to the general ensemble of streets and public places of
which Federal buildings will form a part. Where possible, buildings should be located
so as to permit a generous development of landscape.
Report to the President by the Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space, June 1, 1962.