The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Building Area 125,000 SF
Location Upper Marlboro, MD
The headquarters building for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is located on a ten-acre site in suburban Maryland. The facility houses educational and administrative functions with departments, which include research, reports, legal, accounting and communications. Support spaces include three large multi-purpose auditoriums with rear screen projection, a cafeteria seating 100, a computer center and fully equipped television studio.

Perpendicular axes intersect to divide the building into four quadrants separated by wide sky-lit atrium spaces. Offices line the building perimeter while special use spaces, located along the longitudinal axis, open at each level into a central atrium. Exposed aluminum trusses and sunscreens, polished and flamed granite and metal panels act in synergy to convey a highly technical, machined image appropriate to the identity of the association.

The vertical trusses shaped like 1960s-era launching pad gantries help give the building a more-three dimensional quality while further evoking objects associated with the aerospace industry.

The machine motif is continued on the inside of the structure, where four l-shaped granite walls frame the central lobby. The interior atrium evokes the inside of a precision-engineered machine housing. On one side of this atrium, a three-story staircase appears to bore down through the building like an over scaled worm gear.
The soaring interior spaces are articulated by precisely detailed materials, signs that this organization appreciates fine workmanship. Appropriately, for IAMAW that produces beautiful objects with machinelike precision, the union headquarters symbolizes what its members can achieve in their working lives. “The responsibility is still on the architect to create a magical space,” Joseph Boggs, FAIA.