Capping a search for new designers for the U.S. Department of State’s newest worldwide embassies, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), responsible for constructing and maintaining embassies, has chosen 16 firms to provide design and engineering services for U.S. facilities around the world. The winning offices are expected to provide not only new construction services, but also to renovate existing buildings.
The selection process for the Worldwide Design Services Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) began with 136 initial submissions, where firms were asked to provide a package detailing their approach and design capabilities. A 26 studio shortlist was released next, and competitors were invited to provide technical qualification documents and information on completed projects, followed by in-person interviews with the OBO selection committee.
After winnowing the field down, the OBO’s final selection contains some surprises, with a healthy mix of larger and smaller studios from all over the country. See the full list of winners below:
Mark Cavagnero Associates
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Krueck & Sexton Architects
Richard + Bauer Architecture
Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Marlon Blackwell Architects
Allied Works Architecture
Ann Beha Architects
The Miller Hull Partnership
Machado and Silvetti Associates
According to the OBO’s announcement, “The final 16 selected firms presented the most highly qualified technical teams and demonstrated exemplary past performance, strong management and project delivery experience, a well-defined approach to public architecture, and a commitment to sustainability and integrated design.” While U.S. embassies have traditionally been thought of as fortresses disconnected from the urban fabric, newer iterations of the facilities have embraced a more holistic approach, one that doesn’t shun the surrounding city.
The OBO has 285 facilities around the world, with $7 billion in projects currently under construction and in the pipeline.