The National Geospatial-lntelligence Agency (NGA) is the nation's primary source of geospatial-intelligence for the Department of Defense. As part of the Base Realignment and Closure legislation, NGA elected to design and build a new headquarters in Ft. Belvoir, VA, to consolidate their remotely located professional staff, advance their mission, provide the flexibility needed for a changing, tech-intense workforce, and create an exemplar project for sustainable design and construction within the public sector.
Inside NGA Campus East
Known as NGA Campus East, the project design was driven by a cultural transformation mandate to meet future mission goals along with significant requirements for sustainability, reliability, flexibility, and expandability, all constrained by stringent national security criteria. The multi-disciplinary design team, which included some 700+ professionals spread across multiple offices, met the challenge with what would become the largest U.S. federally-operated LEED Gold Certified building in the world at its time. The design for NGA Campus East is rooted in the Agency's motto of "Know the Earth ... Show the Way ... Understand the World."
The act of NGA looking down on the earth was a guiding metaphor for the building design. The Main Office Building is comprised of two curved, overlapping bars that define a central Atrium and form the shape of an eye, a fitting representation for an intelligence agency. Aligned on a northwest-southeast axis at the edge of the plateau, the campus layout takes full advantage of its natural surroundings, overlooking a creek valley to the west and presenting a public face to the main approach from the east. The entry court and lobby provide a distinct sense of place and arrival. Supporting buildings, arrayed to reinforce the parti, are clad in simpler envelopes consistent with their function. Landscape and hardscape elements reinforce and counterpoint the building geometry and details.