The U.S. Congress is in the process of selecting the nominees for the 12th Architect of the Capitol (AOC). Despite the title, there is no requirement for an AOC to be a licensed architect. But licensed architects are the most qualified for this task and all the demands of this position.
The AOC will be responsible for more than 18 million square foot of office buildings that have been around for more than two centuries and for overseeing major renovations, such as the completion of the completion of the Cannon House Office Building project.
The Capitol complex will require improved security structures and features to protect members of Congress, staff and visitors. The next AOC will also need to improve the work environment for legislators to match or exceed those in the private sector. And all of this must be done without disruption of legislative work.
Aside from considering only professional licensed architects, it is also important for Congress to ensure that the candidates for AOC are from diverse backgrounds. The American Institute of Architects are striving to improve the diversity of the profession and there are currently more women than ever enrolled in architectural courses.