Posts tagged with "Embassies":

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U.S. State Department releases final list of designers for worldwide embassies

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 SHoP Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro Krueck & Sexton Architects Ennead Architects Richard + Bauer Architecture Morphosis Architects Robert A.M. Stern Architects Kieran Timberlake Marlon Blackwell Architects 1100 Architect Allied Works Architecture Ann Beha Architects Studio Ma 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.
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U.S. Department of State shortlists 26 firms to build embassies worldwide

A division of the U.S. Department of State in charge of constructing and maintaining embassies has selected more than two dozen architecture firms to design those facilities worldwide. Late last month, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) picked 26 firms for its Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Worldwide Design Services solicitation, a shortlist that's geographically diverse and includes a healthy mix of small-to-medium–sized firms (Marlon Blackwell, 1100 ArchitectLake|Flato) plus giants like Gensler and HOK

This time around, 136 firms vied for a spot on OBO's list, and the chosen designers are authorized to provide architecture and engineering services for building upgrades as well as new construction. Take a look at the full list, below: 1100 Architect Allied Works Architecture Ann Beha Architects Beyer Blinder Belle Architects Brooks + Scarpa Architects Clark Nexsen Diller Scofidio + Renfro Ennead Architects EYP, Inc. Gensler/Black & Veatch HOK International KieranTimberlake Krueck & Sexton Architects Lake|Flato Architects Machado and Silvetti Associates Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects Mark Cavagnero Associates Marlon Blackwell Architects Miller Hull Partnership Moore Ruble Yudell Morphosis Architects Richard + Bauer Architecture Robert A.M. Stern Architects SHoP Architects Studio MA ZGF Architects Next, shortlisted firms will have to put together a technical team, assemble information about past projects and team performance, and interview with OBO. Right now, the bureau's portfolio includes 285 missions around the world, with projects under construction and in design worth more than $7 billion.
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Studio Gang chosen to design U.S. embassy in Brazil

The State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has announced that Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects has been chosen to design a U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil. This project will be part of the OBO’s ongoing Capital Security Construction Program, which has constructed 129 diplomatic facilities in the last 17 years. The Program also has 55 projects that are either in the design phase or under construction. The Studio Gang Embassy will be located in will be a multi-building campus on the existing 12-acre Chancery complex within the city’s “Diplomatic Sector.” The project will include the Marine Security Guard Residence, a chancery, support facilities, perimeter security, and other facilities for the Embassy community. Studio Gang was selected from a short list of six other offices. The State Department noted in its press release, “Studio Gang presented a strong and cohesive team approach with more than 20 years of collaborative experience executing projects with complex constraints at challenging sites.” This stage of the process was just a selection of the participating office. The design for the project will start in the coming months.
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David Chipperfield beats Foster, KPF to convert US embassy in London to hotel

In London's high-end Mayfair neighborhood, the Brutalist United States embassy, originally designed by Eero Saarinen, has been keeping watch over Grosvenor Square for 55 years. Diplomats will soon be exiting the building, however, as developers prepare for a hotel conversion by David Chipperfield Architects. The Architects Journal reports that Chipperfield bested Foster+Partners and U.S. firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) for the job. However, there is some uncertainty as to whether Chipperfield has actually been commissioned or not. A spokesman for Qatari Diar, the company that now owns the site, refused to confirm that Chipperfield won the competition, stating: "A range of options on the best use of this important site are currently being considered." Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment has secured the remaining 939 years on the Mayfair district building’s lease and will not be allowed to alter the embassy's design as it was awarded grade 2 listing status for its historical and architectural significance and its "dynamic facade" in 2009. According to the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the concrete building was the "first purpose-built US embassy in Europe." The building's "dynamic facades, well-detailed stonework and consistency of detail and the innovative application of the exposed concrete diagrid" led to its protected status, the DCMS added. Occupying 225,000 square feet, the embassy takes up the entire west side of Grosvenor Square and currently has, according to Bloomberg, around 750 staff. Philadelphia-based KieranTimberlake has drawn up plans for the new U.S. embassy in Nine Elms, just south of the Thames, which is set to welcome occupants in 2017. The firm's winning design has been described by the Times as having a "moat" due to its semi-circular pond on one side. The new embassy resembles a crystalline cube and is surrounded by extensive public green spaces.
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Cambridge Architectural’s Steel-Wrapped Embassy

Metal mesh bridges old and new in Davis Brody Bond renovation.

For their renovation and expansion of the South African Embassy in Washington, DC, Davis Brody Bond faced an unusual aesthetic challenge. Besides updating the two historic buildings housing the embassy's offices and residence, they were tasked with building a new atrium for public welcoming, public events, and conference rooms—right in between the two older buildings. The architects turned to Cambridge Architectural, a Maryland manufacturer of wire mesh architectural systems. "Davis Brody Bond wanted to have this new building as a very contemporary element between the two limestone buildings," said Cambridge Architectural's Ann Smith. A wire mesh facade seemed a perfect solution to the problem of combining old and new, seamlessly bridging the two masonry structures, and providing crucial sun shading for the glass atrium. The designers selected Cambridge Architectural's Shade mesh, a stainless steel weave of triangular elements with an open area of 54 percent. "Shade was chosen specifically to reduce the sun coming in, and the glare, because there are conference rooms in that front area," explained Smith. "But they still wanted to maintain the views." Shade is also a flexible, almost fabric-like mesh. "The architects really wanted to see it as one continuous piece," said Smith. "Our flexible materials lend well to that. We're able to tension them without tying back to the structure as often."
  • Facade Manufacturer Cambridge Architectural
  • Architects Davis Brody Bond
  • Facade Installer Cambridge Architectural
  • Location Washington, DC
  • Date of Completion January 2014
  • System flexible stainless steel mesh screen with custom steel attachments
  • Products Cambridge Architectural Shade mesh, customized Cambridge Scroll attachments
The mesh facade turns three times as it wraps around the top and front of the atrium, twice around the parapet, and once again above the recessed entry. To modulate the tension on the screen, Cambridge Architectural developed a custom attachment system based on their Cambridge Scroll attachment series. "We changed the original concept a number of times," said engineering manager Jim Mitchell. "One of the challenges was that when you first walk in, the mesh runs overhead. We had to put more supports in there, more of our tension brackets to keep it looking horizontal, and to keep the tension as it turned." In this case, that meant locating additional attachment areas on the building and adding steel mounts for the Cambridge Scroll hardware. Cambridge Architectural also worked with Davis Brody Bond on a custom window-washing apparatus. The mesh team mounted the screen further off the glass than was standard, to allow room for a hook-and-pulley system designed by the architects. Davis Brody Bond also modified the window design to make for easier cleaning. Inside the entry, Cambridge Architectural installed frames of rigid mesh to echo the exterior facade while allowing access to HVAC equipment. By partnering with Cambridge Architectural on the South African Embassy project, Davis Brody Bond solved two problems at once. They marked their expansion as clearly contemporary without upstaging either the older buildings or the iconic Nelson Mandela statue out front, and they also made building a south-facing glass atrium possible. "It was a perfect combination of a transparent material that could also shade, and a stainless steel material that was very modern," said brand manager Gary Compton. "When you're inside that space, it makes for a nice welcoming, open area."
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State Department Shortlists Three Design Teams for U.S. Embassy in Lebanon

With the ongoing attacks on American interests in the past, the US Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has moved it’s government buildings from the heart of Beirut, to the calmer suburbs of the north of the Lebanese capital, specifically Awkar. OBO is currently evaluating a group of design teams to be commissioned for the design and construction of the new US embassy in Awkar, just 7 miles north of Beirut, and in close proximity to the existing embassy. Six firms participated in Stage 2 evaluations, and the list has now been shortened to three finalists. The three shortlisted teams are: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Mack Scogin Merrill Elam/AECOM Morphosis Architects The project site is approximately 43 acres, located on a steep hillside in a neighborhood of residential and light commercial uses. The new Embassy complex will include a chancery, representational housing, Marine residence, support offices and utility buildings, a parking structure, access pavilions, and a community center. OBO’s mission is to provide a safe, functional facility, while representing the best in American design and engineering.
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Six Design Teams Shortlisted for New U.S. Embassy in Beirut

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted six firms to design the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The new Embassy will be located in Awkar, about 7 miles north of the city center, in the vicinity of the existing Embassy. The new compound will consist of a chancery, support offices, a parking structure, Marine residence, Representational and staff housing, and a community center. Thirty-nine firms replied to the public announcement regarding the task of designing the center. The shortlisted firms are: · Diller Scofidio + Renfro · Mack Scogin Merrill Elam/AECOM · Morphosis Architects · Rafael Viñoly Architects · Steven Holl Architects · Yazdani Studio According to the OBO, the six selected submissions display an exceptional array of high-design projects, characterized by novel site and landscape plans, and a strong understanding of sustainability practices. The firms on the preliminary shortlist will bring together their technical teams to present comprehensive information on their companies and their credentials for the second evaluation stage. OBO’s Excellence in Diplomatic Facilities initiative sought out the project, which encompasses a holistic project development plan that aims to construct facilities that are exceptional in all aspects. OBO’s objective is to supply secure, practical facilities that signify American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, and sustainability.
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Four Firms Shortlisted To Rehab Gropius-Designed Embassy in Athens

The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) announced yesterday its shortlist of design firms to rehabilitate the Walter Gropius-designed US Embassy building in Greece, known as the Athens Chancery. The four firms were selected out of an applicant pool of 56 submissions, and include: Ann Beha Architects, DesignLab Architects, Machado Silvetti / Baker, and Mark Cavagnero Associates. “The shortlisted submissions presented projects that were well-conceived and well-executed, displaying a sophisticated understanding of the issues involved in renovating historically significant buildings and experience with rehabilitations of complex modern structures,” the OBO said in a statement. While in keeping with a modernist aesthetic, the building, completed in 1961, is also a nod to the Parthenon with its white columns and marble facade. Following the selection, the four firms will be expected to establish their technical teams and provide more detailed information on their work and experience for the next phase of consideration.
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KieranTimberlake Refines London’s US Embassy Designs

The State Department’s Overseas Building Operations (OBO) released new renderings by KieranTimberlake of the United States Embassy to be located near London's Vauxhall neighborhood.  The project has acted as something of a petri dish for the development of OBO's Design Excellence program, which was modeled on a similar program at the much-beleaguered GSA. The London project has been watch closely by federally commissioned architects who must comply with design requirements that combine energy efficiency, sustainably, intense security, and high design. "They continue to use this project as a test case for sorting that stuff out and to continue to achieve really high levels of refinement and design excellence," concurred James Timberlake. In a forerunner of efficient practices espoused by the policy, OBO sold their Saarinen-designed building in swanky Grosvenor Square, which in turn paid for the new building on the up-and-coming south side of the Thames.  An OLIN-designed landscape incorporates anti-ram deterrents that the OBO guidelines officiously dub "Embassy Perimeter Improvement Concepts" or EPIC. "I wouldn’t call them barriers," said Timberlake, who noted that despite offset and security setback requirements, 40 percent of the compound remains accessible to pedestrian traffic. If anything, he said, many of the major refinements are through the building's engagement with landscape, including water management in ponds that collect runoff for irrigational reuse, as well as for security. Certain technological advancements have insured that the highly efficient envelope incorporating photovoltaic technology will indeed go forward largely as planned. The rooftops of three entrance pavilions will also hold photovoltaic panels. But it is the envelope that has gone through the most rigorous analysis. An open outer structure acts as an ETFE shading element with a fritted layer that includes photovoltaic patches measuring 6 by 12 inches.  Cast struts holds the cable stayed system apart from the glass box, bowing slightly at the midsection, giving the building a slight protrusion, like a proud, swollen chest.
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¡Perfecto! Williams Tsien & DBB to Design US Embassy in Mexico City

The U.S. Department of State has announced that Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Davis Body Bond will team up to design a new Embassy Compound in Mexico City. The husband and wife team has been riding an enormous wave of praise for their recently opened Barnes Foundation Museum in Philadelphia, but just when you thought the last of the praise was proffered, in comes Martin Filler's rave in this week's New York Review of Books ("wholly unexpected," "ravishing," "dazzling"). That should give critics a breather till the duo's University of Chicago Logan Center opens this fall. In the mean time, the next twenty months will be focused on working with Davis Body Bond designing the new embassy, with a construction contract to be awarded in 2015. The selection is the first under the State Department's new Design Excellence program.