Completed in 2017, the double-occupancy of the embassy shared between France and Germany in Dhaka is expressed in the very fabric of the building
The embassy is, like a knotted handkerchief on a crimson British head, an expression of nationhood abroad. It is unusual therefore – indeed, probably unique – to find two countries sharing the same purpose-built premises, as the French and Germans do in Dhaka. (The Nordic embassies in Berlin share a compound, but the chanceries of the various states occupy separate structures that are arranged according to a plan that roughly follows their geographical locations.) This situation is born out of the exceptionally close relations between the two countries following the Second World War, a bond cemented by the Élysée Treaty signed by West Germany and France in 1963. Stéphane Paumier – French by birth but operating mainly in India – expresses the building’s double occupancy with layers of red and grey brick arranged in an aspirational double spiral, which he describes as representing ‘the dynamic relationship of France and Germany as the political and economic engine of modern Europe’. Shared visa services occupy the ground floor while the tower contains the separate chanceries, which are set back from the road for security reasons. A lift shaft rises through the building in a faceted cocoon of steel and glass, the tip of which pokes through the roof Willy Wonka-style. The building’s unusual disposition has led BD to describe it as ‘the architectural opposite of Brexit’.
Franco german embassy dhaka spa design architectural review drawings
This case study is part of Typology: Embassy. Read the full article here