Archinect - News 2017-07-26T18:56:25-04:00 Former US Embassy Building Is Declared Culturally-Inappropriate for Canadian Indigenous Center Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-06-20T19:20:00-04:00 >2017-06-21T13:59:52-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="434" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Classical revival is perhaps the architectural style most identified with colonization. This building, which references Washington architecture, is a building of formal rooms, offices, and&nbsp;hierarchies, echoing structures of European authority.</p></em><br /><br /><p>This June the federal government announced that the US' former embassy building in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ottawa</a>&nbsp;will become a space dedicated to Inuit, M&eacute;tis and First Nations communities which the task force of the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RAIC</a> finds to be a deeply inappropriate space for an Indigenous Centre. </p> <p><em>"Canada's Indigenous communities have, for too long, been forced into leftover spaces that fail to connect in any meaningful way to their cultures and unique connectivity to place" </em>says the task force, composed of about 30 mostly Indigenous architects, architectural students, interns and academics. </p> <p>Dr. Patrick Stewart, the chair of the task force suggests that the federal government should provide capital dollars for the design and construction of a structure based upon Indigenous knowledge and&nbsp;through the use of Indigenous architects. </p> China furious over US plan to rename street in front of its embassy after dissident Nicholas Korody 2014-06-25T19:14:00-04:00 >2014-06-29T19:46:18-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="487" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Chinese diplomats on Wednesday said Congress&rsquo; decision to rename the street in front of Beijing&rsquo;s embassy in the U.S. capital after a Chinese dissident is "really absurd" [...] On Tuesday the House Appropriations Committee voted to rename the street outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to &ldquo;Liu Xiaobo Plaza&rdquo; &mdash; after a Chinese dissident who received the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia and is currently serving an 11-year prison term for subverting the government&rsquo;s authority.</p></em><br /><br /><p>This is not the first time that place-naming &ndash; or toponymy &ndash; has provoked a political dispute. Actually, it's pretty likely that as long as people have been naming places, other people have been getting upset about it. For example, as immortalized by Jimmy Kennedy in the classic song, Istanbul has been called Constantinople, Byzantium, and Stamboul among other names. What isn't mentioned in the song is that these name changes signal major political shifts, in particular the waves of (often violent) colonization by the Greeks, the Romans, and the Turks. More recently Russian cities were renamed to commemorate Soviet leaders, then changed back to their older names following the collapse of the USSR. Likewise, after the Arab Spring, squares and streets in Tunis and Cairo were renamed to obliterate mention the deposed dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak, respectively.&nbsp;</p> Controversial Embassy in Baghdad Under Threat From Isis Nicholas Korody 2014-06-23T18:13:00-04:00 >2014-06-26T17:55:15-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="426" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>As militant Sunni fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) continue their assault on Iraq, following their recent take-over of Baquba, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">President Barack Obama has ordered the deployment of 275 combat-ready troops to help defend Baghdad and, in particular, the new and expensive embassy there</a>. At 4,700,000 sq ft, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Yaeger Architecture</a>-designed embassy is the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">largest in the world&nbsp;</a>and, with a cost exceeding $700 million, it was the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">most expensive to construct</a>. Its multiple gyms, conference rooms, pools, private gardens, department stores, and fortified apartments are all protected by blast-resistant walls and multiple security checks. An American working at the embassy has no real need to venture beyond its walls. The complex is a city-within-a-city &ndash;&ndash; or, more accurately, a city-within-a-city-within-a-city, as the embassy is situated in the heavily-fortified &ldquo;Green Zone&rdquo; that harbors Baghdad&rsquo;s international population.</p><p>The urgent rush to protect the supposedly impe...</p> New U.S. Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands breaks ground Justine Testado 2014-05-30T13:49:00-04:00 >2014-05-30T13:51:02-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Over in The Hague in The Netherlands, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) celebrated the groundbreaking of the new U.S. Embassy earlier this week. Located on a 10-acre site in the Wassenaar municipality, some features of the $206 million project will include a chancery office building, a U.S. Marine Corps residence, a utility building, and multiple access pavilions.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Moore Ruble Yudell Architects &amp; Planners</a> of Santa Monica, CA will be project architect with Caddell Construction Company of Montgomery, AL for construction.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Find more about the project on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bustler</a>.</p> Department of State and Finnish officials dedicate renovated U.S. Embassy in Helsinki Justine Testado 2014-04-30T20:35:00-04:00 >2014-05-06T22:33:38-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="347" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>U.S. Department of State, OBO, and local Finnish officials hosted the dedication ceremony for the new campus of the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland today. Located in the same 3-acre site since the 1930s in the Kaivopuisto District in downtown Helsinki, the $114 million project had Moore Ruble Yudell of Santa Monica, CA as design architect; PAGE of Arlington, VA as architect of record; and BL Harbert International LLC from Birmingham for construction.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Started in November 2011, the three-phase project consisted of renovating existing spaces and adding new facilities to enrich the campus. The transformation of the existing office annex into the new Innovation Center finished in January 2013 while completion of the new chancery in phase two happened this past February. If all continues to go well, the existing chancery and ambassador's residence will be renovated by this December.</p><p>Finnish cultural references in the new Embassy's aesthetics include the permanent art collection and the ne...</p> Ann Beha Architects selected for major rehabilitation of Gropius-designed Athens Chancery Justine Testado 2013-11-19T19:54:00-05:00 >2013-11-19T19:58:47-05:00 <img src="" width="530" height="427" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Ann Beha Architects from Boston, MA was selected by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) for a major rehabilitation project of the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece. Walter Gropius and consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios designed the iconic embassy from 1959-1961. The building is also listed as a protected architectural landmark.</p></em><br /><br /><p> <em>Ann Beha Architects was given the task out of four shortlisted teams that included: DesignLab Architects, Inc. (Boston, MA); Machado Silvetti / Baker (Boston, MA); and Mark Cavagnero Associates (San Francisco, CA).</em></p> <p> Previously: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Four Design Teams Shortlisted for Major Rehabilitation of Gropius-Designed Athens Chancery</a></p> KieranTimberlake’s U.S. Embassy in London celebrates groundbreaking Justine Testado 2013-11-13T20:35:00-05:00 >2013-11-18T21:33:11-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="400" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations announced the groundbreaking of the KieranTimberlake-designed U.S. Embassy in London on Nov. 13. KieranTimberlake of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was named as the project architect after winning the Department of State competition back in 2010.</p></em><br /><br /><p> To see previous news posts about the U.S. Embassy in London project, click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Morphosis Architects selected to design new U.S. Embassy in Beirut Justine Testado 2013-10-31T17:35:00-04:00 >2013-11-01T00:35:35-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="434" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>From six finalists to three and finally to one, Morphosis Architects will be designing the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, as announced by The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) earlier this week. Morphosis won against top-name contenders Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam / AECOM. All top three teams advanced to the competition's final round of presentations and interviews. Submitting designs weren't a requirement.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Previously: <a href="" target="_blank">Shortlist for new U.S. Embassy in Beirut now down to three finalists</a></p> Shortlist for new U.S. Embassy in Beirut now down to three finalists Alexander Walter 2013-09-04T21:46:00-04:00 >2013-10-31T17:36:45-04:00 <img src="" width="530" height="354" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Stage 2 shortlist for the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon has now been narrowed down even further.</p></em><br /><br /><p> As the Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) reports, these three design teams were selected for Stage 3 evaluation:</p> <ul><li> Diller Scofidio + Renfro</li> <li> Mack Scogin Merrill Elam / AECOM</li> <li> Morphosis Architects</li> </ul><p> Earlier this year in June, the Stage 1 shortlist still included Rafael Vi&ntilde;oly Architects, Steven Holl Architects, and Yazdani Studio.</p> <p> Previously: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">DS+R, Morphosis, Vi&ntilde;oly and Holl Among Finalists for new U.S. Embassy in Beirut</a></p> <p> <strong>UPDATE:</strong> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Morphosis Architects selected to design new U.S. Embassy in Beirut</a></p> DS+R, Morphosis, Viñoly and Holl Among Finalists for new U.S. Embassy in Beirut Alexander Walter 2013-06-19T13:28:00-04:00 >2013-10-31T17:37:37-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="434" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The U.S. Department of State&rsquo;s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted six design teams for the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.</p></em><br /><br /><p> The shortlisted teams are:</p> <ul><li> Diller Scofidio + Renfro</li> <li> Mack Scogin Merrill Elam/AECOM</li> <li> Morphosis Architects</li> <li> Rafael Vi&ntilde;oly Architects</li> <li> Steven Holl Architects</li> <li> Yazdani Studio</li> </ul><p> <strong>UPDATE:</strong> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Shortlist for new U.S. Embassy in Beirut now down to three finalists</a></p> <p> <strong>UPDATE 2:</strong> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Morphosis Architects selected to design new U.S. Embassy in Beirut</a></p> Four Design Teams Shortlisted for Major Rehabilitation of Gropius-Designed Athens Chancery Alexander Walter 2013-05-15T19:26:00-04:00 >2013-11-19T19:55:49-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="523" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Four design firms have been shortlisted by the U.S. Department of State&rsquo;s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) for the major rehabilitation of the Athens Chancery project. The iconic modernist embassy building, designed by Walter Gropius with consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios, was constructed between 1959 and 1961 and is a protected architectural landmark.</p></em><br /><br /><p> The shortlisted firms are:</p> <ul><li> Ann Beha Architects, Boston, MA</li> <li> DesignLab Architects, Inc., Boston, MA</li> <li> Machado Silvetti / Baker, Boston, MA</li> <li> Mark Cavagnero Associates, San Francisco, CA</li> </ul><p> <strong>UPDATE:</strong> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ann Beha Architects selected for major rehabilitation of Gropius-designed Athens Chancery</a></p> Can U.S. Embassies Be Safe Without Being Unsightly? Alexander Walter 2013-02-26T20:16:00-05:00 >2013-03-04T21:11:55-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="432" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world. Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen." But the choice between gardens and gates isn't just academic for diplomats &mdash; it can affect the way they work.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Previously: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">All the glamour of a corporate office block</a> &amp; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">American Embassy Buildings Increasingly Getting Ugly</a></p> Swiss Clockwork Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon Alexander Walter 2012-05-18T12:52:00-04:00 >2012-05-20T23:38:55-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="385" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>London/Paris-based practice Matteo Cainer Architects Ltd has sent us its competition entry for the new Swiss embassy building in Yaound&eacute;, the capital city of Cameroon, West Africa. The design is a play on the precision of Swiss clockwork mechanism and traditional Cameroon Musgum housing.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Save the only Neutra In Pakistan Zehra Ahmed 2012-04-12T15:05:00-04:00 >2012-04-16T20:41:57-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="460" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p> "In 1955, the US State Department commissioned Richard Neutra to design a new embassy in Karachi. Neutra's appointment was part of an ambitious program of architectural commissions to renowned architects, which included embassies by Walter Gropius in Athens, Edward Durrell Stone in New Delhi, Marcel Breuer in The Hague, Josep Lluis Sert in Baghdad and Eero Saarinen in London."&#8232;&#8232;</p> <p> Neutra referred to these other buildings as &ldquo;just pretty buildings&rdquo; and called his design as &ldquo;stripped for action&rdquo;. A slightly curved stately white rectangular slab punctuated with narrow rectangular windows suitable for Karachi&rsquo;s hot climate. A building which has seen a lot of activity, from International and State affairs to movie screenings, art openings and car bomb attacks in 2002 and 2006 which led to its eventual shut down to the public. It seems obvious that such a space be repurposed with the same energy it once had for local and international culture. Its demolition would not only mean the loss...</p> All the glamour of a corporate office block Nam Henderson 2010-02-24T12:55:00-05:00 >2013-02-26T20:22:29-05:00 <img src="" width="447" height="500" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p> So says Nicolai Ouroussoff in his review of the recently released winning design, by the Philadelphia firm KieranTimberlake, for the State Department&rsquo;s new embassy in London. <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NYT</a> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Previously</a></p> Christopher Hawthorne reviews the new US Embassy in London Paul Petrunia 2010-02-23T15:27:00-05:00 >2013-02-26T20:24:55-05:00 <img src="" width="436" height="353" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Even as the design itself, for all its airiness and crisp confidence, is hardly radical from a formal point of view -- it consists of a cube sheathed in a shimmering polymer scrim and resting on a ground-floor colonnade of concrete pillars -- it represents a major shift in how we think about the role of U.S. government architecture, both at home and abroad. It suggests putting an emphasis on action instead of values, measurable behavior rather than symbolic gestures.</p></em><br /><br /><p> The LA Times' Christopher Hawthorne <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">reviews</a> the new U.S. Embassy in London, designed by KieranTimberlake.<br><br> &nbsp;</p> American Embassy Buildings Increasingly Getting Ugly Orhan Ayyüce 2009-07-19T18:59:00-04:00 >2013-02-26T20:28:43-05:00 <img src="" width="436" height="300" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p> "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen. We're building fortresses around the world. We're separating ourselves from people in these countries. I cringe when I see what we're doing." - John Kerry.</p> <p> Lots of people cringe when they think about the recent architecture of American diplomacy, and now a new report adds ammunition to the Massachusetts Democrat's charge. "Design for Diplomacy," written by the American Institute of Architects, is a classic Washington document: dull, dry and filled with recommendations that run from the tepid to the bland to the obvious. But the fact that it exists means that the age of the American embassy as architectural wasteland may finally be coming to an end. <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a></p> New London Embassy John Cline 2009-03-11T12:15:00-04:00 >2013-11-13T20:31:11-05:00 <p> The U.S. Department of State&rsquo;s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) announced that four architectural firms have been selected for the final phase of the design competition for the new United States Embassy in London. <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">State Department</a></p> US Embassy London Shortlist Aaron Plewke 2009-01-06T00:21:00-05:00 >2013-11-13T20:29:53-05:00 <p> Thomas Mayne's Morphosis Architects, SOM, KPF and Richard Meier &amp; Partners are among nine firms on the all-American shortlist to design Britain&rsquo;s &pound;275 million new US embassy. <a href=";origin=BDbreakingnews" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BD</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">previously</a> | <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">related</a></p> Secrecy, Security and Suburbia in Baghdad Alan Loomis 2007-06-15T12:47:00-04:00 >2014-06-23T15:49:42-04:00 <p>"War planning meets Sim City ... the architecture of manufactured, blast-resistant banality" - LA Times architecture critic <a href=",0,2808044.story" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Christopher Hawthorne</a> reviews the US Embassy in Baghdad</p>