The San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has received a 2010 “Good Design is Good Business” China Award for the new U.S. Embassy Complex in Beijing, China. Architectural Record and McGraw-Hill Construction recognized 17 projects with their third bi-annual program. The awards celebrate projects that demonstrate the power of design in the advancement of business and civic objectives.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which opened for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, received its award in the Best Public Project category. Working with the U.S. Department of State, SOM responded to the building’s diplomatic role by creating a space that is welcoming, secure, and respectful of local traditions. As a sovereign U.S. presence on Chinese soil, the Embassy reflects American cultural, social and political values while paying respect to the host country’s ancient and extraordinarily vibrant culture.
More images and information after the break.
The awards jury included editors from Architectural Record, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Time+Architecture. “Wrestling with tough security requirements,” they said of the Embassy, “the architects used the Beijing traditions of walled compounds and garden design to create a place that represents American values of transparency and cultural diversity.”
The Embassy will be honored at a gala event and conference in Shanghai on March 12, 2010. SOM Design Partner Craig Hartman, FAIA will present the project, and Jay Holleran, Design Manager at the Department of State, will participate in a panel discussion. One “Grand Winner” from each category will be announced at the event, as will one “Project of the Year” and one “Best Client,” selected from among the winning projects.
All of the 2010 “Good Design is Good Business” award-winning projects will be published in the June issue of Architectural Record China and on-line at ArchitecturalRecord.com and BusinessWeek.com.
The U.S. Embassy – Beijing was previously honored by the American Institute of Architect’s San Francisco Chapter with a 2009 Excellence in Architecture Award.