SHoP Architects have revealed new renderings of their design for a New Embassy Compound (NEC) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In 2013, SHoP was among the firms selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) to realize facilities that will meet its operational needs while embodying and communicating the spirit and highest values of the United States.
The NEC’s design takes its cues from the mountainous Honduran landscape, forming a sense of connection between the buildings and the surrounding area. The north façade addresses the city, creating a welcoming entrance to the chancery, while the east, west and south facades are more solid. As one traverses the site, the reading of the building changes considerably, from open and transparent to stately and heroic. The material palette plays an important role in connecting interior to exterior, incorporating the copper colored anodized aluminum fins used on the façade and referencing the light-toned limestone, warm, rich woods and dark stone visible throughout.
Special attention has been paid to solar shading and thermal comfort, implementing strategies to mitigate solar heat gain and allow for generous daylighting. During the design process, the AE team used various tools, including virtual reality, to make design decisions, modeling all scales to study various construction methodologies. “The process of designing the NEC in Tegucigalpa has been an incredible partnership between SHoP, the consultants and the OBO team,” said Chris R. Sharples, a founding partner of SHoP Architects. “Design challenges were met through a remarkably efficient, highly collaborative process between all parties and we are honored to be able to represent the United States in this capacity.”
The NEC is expected to break ground in late 2018 and to welcome its first occupants in 2022. SHoP is currently working with OBO on several projects around the world, including the embassies in Tegucigalpa and Seoul.