U. S. Capitol Visitor Center

Occupying over a half-million square feet, the U.S Capital Visitor Center is the largest project in the history of the U.S. Capitol. Work on the Visitor Center continued over the course of two administrations and the events of 9/11 demanded that the designs continue to evolve to address new security concerns. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided full-scope theatre and audio-video and projection systems consulting for the Center’s public assembly spaces, including the 450-seat Congressional Theatre and two 250-seat orientation theatres, as well as consulting services for support facilities and constituent assembly areas.

The firm worked with the Architect of the Capitol and RTKL on the organization and layout of the Visitor Center’s two 250-seat orientation theaters, focusing on seating and sightlines; projection, audio-video and screening systems; a monolithic roman shade curtain; and rigging and specialty lighting for presentations.

The Center’s in-house 450-seat Congressional Theatre, designed for joint sessions of Congress and special Library of Congress screenings, is configured as the Capitol’s primary venue for media-intensive governmental sessions with a full wall of rear projection systems allowing members of Congress and guests to witness pre-recorded events, as well as real-time live video presentations. The Congressional Theatre also functions as a media auditorium when the component platforms, casework and furnishings of the well are placed in storage.

Architect: RTKL Associates, Architect of the Capitol
Size: 580,000 SF
Cost: $351,000,000 entire project
Completion: 2008