Cambridge Architectural’s Steel-Wrapped Embassy

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Cambridge Architectural's wire mesh facade screens the new glass atrium at the South African Embassy in Washington, DC. (Eric Taylor)

Cambridge Architectural’s wire mesh facade screens the new glass atrium at the South African Embassy in Washington, DC. (Eric Taylor)

Metal mesh bridges old and new in Davis Brody Bond renovation.

For their renovation and expansion of the South African Embassy in Washington, DC, Davis Brody Bond faced an unusual aesthetic challenge. Besides updating the two historic buildings housing the embassy’s offices and residence, they were tasked with building a new atrium for public welcoming, public events, and conference rooms—right in between the two older buildings. The architects turned to Cambridge Architectural, a Maryland manufacturer of wire mesh architectural systems. “Davis Brody Bond wanted to have this new building as a very contemporary element between the two limestone buildings,” said Cambridge Architectural’s Ann Smith. A wire mesh facade seemed a perfect solution to the problem of combining old and new, seamlessly bridging the two masonry structures, and providing crucial sun shading for the glass atrium.

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State Department Shortlists Three Design Teams for U.S. Embassy in Lebanon

International
Friday, September 6, 2013
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Aerial view overlooking Beirut, Lebanon. (Ahmad Moussaoui / Flickr)

Aerial view overlooking Beirut, Lebanon. (Ahmad Moussaoui / Flickr)

With the ongoing attacks on American interests in the past, the US Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has moved it’s government buildings from the heart of Beirut, to the calmer suburbs of the north of the Lebanese capital, specifically Awkar. OBO is currently evaluating a group of design teams to be commissioned for the design and construction of the new US embassy in Awkar, just 7 miles north of Beirut, and in close proximity to the existing embassy. Six firms participated in Stage 2 evaluations, and the list has now been shortened to three finalists.

View the shortlist after the jump.

Six Design Teams Shortlisted for New U.S. Embassy in Beirut

International
Thursday, June 20, 2013
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(Beirut photo courtesy Wikipedia)

(Beirut photo courtesy Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted six firms to design the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The new Embassy will be located in Awkar, about 7 miles north of the city center, in the vicinity of the existing Embassy. The new compound will consist of a chancery, support offices, a parking structure, Marine residence, Representational and staff housing, and a community center. Thirty-nine firms replied to the public announcement regarding the task of designing the center.

Continue reading after the jump.

Four Firms Shortlisted To Rehab Gropius-Designed Embassy in Athens

International
Thursday, May 16, 2013
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Gropius-designed Athens Chancery. (Courtesy Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations)

Gropius-designed Athens Chancery. (Courtesy Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations)

The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) announced yesterday its shortlist of design firms to rehabilitate the Walter Gropius-designed US Embassy building in Greece, known as the Athens Chancery. The four firms were selected out of an applicant pool of 56 submissions, and include: Ann Beha Architects, DesignLab Architects, Machado Silvetti / Baker, and Mark Cavagnero Associates.

Continue reading after the jump.

KieranTimberlake Refines London’s US Embassy Designs

East
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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Clear views of the U.S. Embassy from Nine Elms Lane belie subtle security barriers (Courtesy KieranTimberlake)

Clear views of the U.S. Embassy from Nine Elms Lane belie subtle security barriers (Courtesy KieranTimberlake)

The State Department’s Overseas Building Operations (OBO) released new renderings by KieranTimberlake of the United States Embassy to be located near London’s Vauxhall neighborhood.  The project has acted as something of a petri dish for the development of OBO’s Design Excellence program, which was modeled on a similar program at the much-beleaguered GSA. The London project has been watch closely by federally commissioned architects who must comply with design requirements that combine energy efficiency, sustainably, intense security, and high design. “They continue to use this project as a test case for sorting that stuff out and to continue to achieve really high levels of refinement and design excellence,” concurred James Timberlake.

Continue reading after the jump.

¡Perfecto! Williams Tsien & DBB to Design US Embassy in Mexico City

International
Friday, June 22, 2012
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Tsien and Williams accepting Architectural League's Presidents medal in 2004. (Courtesy Architectural League)

Tsien and Williams accepting Architectural League's Presidents medal in 2004. (Courtesy Architectural League)

The U.S. Department of State has announced that Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Davis Body Bond will team up to design a new Embassy Compound in Mexico City. The husband and wife team has been riding an enormous wave of praise for their recently opened Barnes Foundation Museum in Philadelphia, but just when you thought the last of the praise was proffered, in comes Martin Filler’s rave in this week’s New York Review of Books (“wholly unexpected,” “ravishing,” “dazzling”).

That should give critics a breather till the duo’s University of Chicago Logan Center opens this fall. In the mean time, the next twenty months will be focused on working with Davis Body Bond designing the new embassy, with a construction contract to be awarded in 2015. The selection is the first under the State Department’s new Design Excellence program.

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