Like US diplomatic buildings worldwide, this facility currently under construction in Beirut is subject to increased fortification, following two bombings of the previous embassy
The new 43-acre complex 10 miles outside the city is due to complete in 2023. Costing over US$1 billion dollars, the investment is being touted as a sign of US commitment to the future of the country. The client’s demand for intense security measures has necessitated a long, high perimeter wall; the architects have opted to partially sink the buildings, with their trademark undulating and kinked surfaces, into the landscape. The US Department of State chose the design, it said, because it ‘didn’t look like a fortress’; this reveals an awareness of the problem – but you can only do so much to disguise a massive concrete wall. As the architects put it: ‘Embassy architecture serves as a powerful symbol that provides an instantaneous and indelible impression of a country … A US embassy’s design expresses to the world the ideals of American democracy – the optimism, hope and promise of our time.’ For the majority of Lebanese, the most they will ever see of the embassy will be that wall.
United states embassy beirut morphosis architectural review drawings
This case study is part of Typology: Embassy. Read the full article here