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About the American Center for Physics

The American Center for Physics brings three Societies together in one building:

  • the American Institute of Physics (AIP)
  • the American Physical Society (APS)
  • the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)

The wooded 24-acre site off Kenilworth Avenue in College Park, Maryland, was purchased in the summer of 1992, with occupancy of the building starting in the fall of 1993. The site is ideally situated in close proximity to both Washington DC and the University of Maryland, one of the nation's leading research universities and home to strong physics and engineering departments, with easy access to public transportation.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the ACP building was envisioned to be a true center and showcase for physics. Special care was taken with the design of the building and the quality of materials used. To foster a sense of community, the entire ground floor is dedicated to common usage with shared meeting spaces, a cafeteria, and a central rotunda featuring vitrines for art exhibitions.

Long before "green" was the trend, pains were taken to make the ACP building environmentally sound and energy efficient. Trees were taken down selectively in order to preserve as much of the wooded area as possible. High-quality, natural materials were used in construction, and a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system and tinted low-e windows added to its energy efficiency.

And when the architects suggested a ring road to enhance the inward-facing "enclave" strategy for the campus, the clients compressed it to form an ellipse, thus giving the Center its signature address.

See a gallery of ACP images