The project was a competition for a new Embassy of the Czech Republic in the United States. As such, it was to represent the culture and spirit of this country abroad.
Our first objective was to create a project appropriate in size and character to the surrounding neighborhood. At the same time, it was critical to have a structure that would fulfill the functions of an embassy, to tread as lightly on the environment as possible, to use morphology of the site to form the architecture and to blend the building into its surroundings. We decided on several low-story buildings arranged in terraces and laced with garden plots. Certain areas were closed and put underground due to security requirements. Because of such requirements, it was necessary to sink one-third of the structure. Despite this, we managed to “connect” the green roofs and gardens to the park and forest surrounding the site, and provide long, clear views from the building. We turned the strict security needs of the structure into an advantage – the complex has a high level of privacy from the nearby streets. The idea was to provide a sense of refuge and familiarity inside its walls while blending in with nature. Openness, dignity, sustainability and respect for the surroundings and the neighbors were our main goals.
The Embassy has a north-south orientation and is divided into four core buildings – consulate, office, representation and residence. All four are located in the back part of the site and are connected for easy access. The project is aimed at LEED certification. We have carefully designed the complex’s energy systems and materials to conform to the strictest environmental standards.
Architects: Your Building Here Location: Washington DC, USA Project Team: Yianna Bouyioukou, Marija Volkman, Tomas Ciesla Building Size: 50,000 sf Project Year: 2009 Visualization: Tomas Toegel