This new embassy for the Dominican Republic serves an island nation with close cultural ties to the United States—evidenced by a consulate large enough to feel like a border crossing. In response to its warm tropical climate, the new Chancery has been designed to allow abundant natural light into the interior spaces while providing deep canopies to shade exterior terraces, plazas and walks. At the heart of the Chancery a dynamic full-height atrium brings light into the center of the workplace, where the main lobby, dining, and meeting spaces for visitors and employees are gathered.
The 6.5 hectare site is organized into distinct zones related to use: Public and Consular functions at the front, Diplomatic and Embassy Community uses in the center, and Support and Service at the back, separated by garden walls and landscape. Giving order to the whole is a sculptural system of parallel walls of various heights, clad in limestone, creating layers of interior and exterior space all across the site.
Landscape complements this geometric pattern with a continuous flow of sinuous curves, accented by rows of native palms and ornamental plantings. Inspired by the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle-Marx, the free-form movement of broad lawns and planting is continued in exterior paving patterns, and inside by the soaring vaults of the atrium.
Given its island context, the new embassy is virtually self-sustaining in terms of energy and basic utilities. Through such initiatives as photovoltaic power generation and intensive storm water management the project has been designed to attain LEED Silver certification.
Contributions: Design and detailing of architectural interiors and custom light fixtures