Four design firms have been shortlisted by the U.S. Department of State’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. — bustler.net
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 — it can affect the way they work. — npr.org
London/Paris-based practice Matteo Cainer Architects Ltd has sent us its competition entry for the new Swiss embassy building in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, West Africa. The design is a play on the precision of Swiss clockwork mechanism and traditional Cameroon Musgum housing. — bustler.net
"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...
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. — latimes.com
"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. Lots of people cringe when they think about the recent architecture of...
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