Australian office Bates Smart has unveiled their design for the new Australian Embassy to the United States to be located in the diplomatic heart of Washington, D.C. Developed in partnership with local firm KCCT, the new building will provide the embassy with a contemporary workspace with views to the White House.
Bates Smart’s design draws inspiration from the Australian landscape, allowing the building to become a symbol for their home country.
“The environmentally sensitive design embodies the spirit of Australia through direct references to the distinctive Australian landscape: its bright and clear natural light and open skies, its warm materiality and its vast scale,” said the architects in a press release. “The use of these associations will create a civic building and symbol of Australia that is both enduring and welcoming.”
Offices and flexible working areas encircle a large glass atrium, which provides the building with an abundance of natural light. On the ground floor, a large open public space leads guests into the building and to a series of exhibition gallery and event spaces for ceremonial and public functions.
The building has been designed to meet the highest possible global environment standards, employing a thermally efficient façade system, a green roof with an extensive photovoltaic array and the latest building services technologies, as well as through the expansive use of natural light.
The new building will replace the existing Australian Embassy, which was designed by Bates Smart’s Sir Osbourne McCutcheon in 1964.
“It is with great pride that we have the opportunity to replace this building with the next generation of Bates Smart design,” said Kristen Whittle, Director of Bates Smart. “The design of the new Embassy has been inspired by the unique and beguiling beauty of the Australian landscape. The project has a refined and rich materiality which will make it stand out in Washington.”
News via Bates Smart.