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View Poll Results: Which project do you like better
The NEW Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. 22 29.33%
The NEW U.S. Embassy in Beijing 53 70.67%
Voters: 75. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 1st, 2006, 10:30 AM   #1
hala
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NEW Chinese Embassy in D.C. & NEW US Embassy in Beijing

Architecturally, which of these designs do you like better?



Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the USA
Washington, D.C.

Designed by: Pei Partnership Architects

The Chinese government has asked Pei Partnership Architects to assist them in evaluating a building site offered by the United States government for the construction of a new embassy building. The functional program consists of three separate components: office space for Embassy employees including the Ambassador, extensive public space where visitors would be received for working meetings and public receptions and employee parking.

This 260,000 square-foot (25,000 square-meter) project is the largest embassy in Washington, D.C. The project is designed by IM Pei, in associated with his sons Chien Chung Pei and Li Chung Pei. This may probably be the last large-scale project that designed by the legendary 89-year-old architect.







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Embassy of the United States of America to China
Beijing

Designed by: SOM

The U.S. State Department’s largest project ever built on foreign soil is currently under construction in the Peoples Republic of China. The new U.S. Embassy in Beijing’s Third Embassy District broke ground February 10. The 500,000 square foot (46,000 square-meter) embassy sits on a 10 acre parcel of land in the city’s northeast quadrant. Architect Skidmore Owings & Merrill’s goal for the project is to create a “pleasant, yet secure, environment for the embassy’s 600 plus employees.”

Led by design partner Craig W. Hartman, FAIA, SOM’s San Francisco based team designed a complex of low to mid rise buildings in a garden setting. “The design intent was to reflect American values through contemporary, clear, direct, and open architecture, with its foundations resting upon the traditions of Chinese design and culture in the landscape,” Hartman says. “Like archeology, it is a subtly layered bringing together of cultures.”

The facility juxtaposes modern, light filled American style buildings with contemporary gardens and courtyards designed in accord with ancient Chinese planning principles. The ring of trees surrounding the embassy’s perimeter and a series of gardens, courtyards, and reflecting pools offer natural and unobtrusive protective barriers, enhancing the security of the complex while maintaining an elegant, open, and welcoming feel for public and staff alike. Landscape architect Peter Walker and Partners collaborated with SOM to create the desired environment.

Organized in three neighborhoods, the embassy’s design enhances necessary functional and safety requirements while encouraging interaction among staff. The first neighborhood contains the embassy’s public spaces, with the consular building prominently placed as the public’s front door to the complex. This neighborhood also includes gardens along the primary public entrance and a commissioned site specific work of art by Ellsworth Kelly. Designed according to sustainable principles, the consular building will boast a skylighted roof that inundates the space with natural light. Its concrete and stone thermal mass will provide temperature control.

The second neighborhood, located behind and adjacent to the consular building, houses the primary office facilities of the embassy within an eight story tower and a low and long three story pavilion. “A veil of patterned ceramic frit coated glass, supported on a tensile net structure, encloses the tower, creating a sense of lightness and delicacy,” according to the architect.
The third, and multipurpose neighborhood houses quarters for the U.S. Marines guards and offers diverse leisure facilities for embassy staff and their families. Tucked away behind the office structures, this region offers a series of low pavilions and outdoor spaces designed to promote social, intellectual, and professional engagement. In addition to the Marines’ quarters, it contains a coffee shop, cafeteria, store, and recreation space.

In announcing the selection of SOM, the client review panel praised the concept for its “innovative, modern design that respects China’s cultural and environmental qualities, while honoring and expressing American values.” The embassy is scheduled to open prior to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
—Heather Livingston





Last edited by hala; November 1st, 2006 at 10:47 AM.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 12:35 PM   #2
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U.S., of course
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Old November 1st, 2006, 04:10 PM   #3
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Both are very functional buildings.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 04:16 PM   #4
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I'm disappointed by the Chinese embassy... by an architect as talented as IM Pei, who gave us the BoC, his embassy seems... well... shit.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:15 PM   #5
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Obviously the US's one is better.
But I would say both fits each city's style.
In China the governments buildings are always huge, no matter which government.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:37 AM   #6
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OMG the Chinese embassy looks so ugly.
How come it got so much blank walls?
Even shopping malls from 60s look better than that.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 01:09 AM   #7
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The Chinese embassy looks like it fits in with 1960's style and if it were built then id be ok with it, but the US embassy looks to fit in more with todays style.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 01:12 AM   #8
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eh, i like them both
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 09:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duskdawn View Post
Obviously the US's one is better.
But I would say both fits each city's style.
In China the governments buildings are always huge, no matter which government.
Well the Chinese embassy is in Washington D.C., while the US embassy is in Beijing.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 06:14 PM   #10
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gosh, the chinese one is ugly indeed, i cant believe it. in some degree its like the suzhou musem wich i dont like either.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 06:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladolcevita View Post
Well the Chinese embassy is in Washington D.C., while the US embassy is in Beijing.
Yes, that's where my logic lies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duskdawn View Post
Obviously the US's one is better.
But I would say both fits each city's style.
In China the governments buildings are always huge, no matter which government.
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孟子有曰,故天將降大任于是人也,必先苦其心志,勞其筋骨,餓其體膚,空乏其身,行拂亂其所為,所以動心忍性,曾益其所不能。
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:18 PM   #12
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I don't like either of them but i guess the US embassy is kinda better.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 12:42 AM   #13
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The American one looks like a fortress and is uninviting - the Chinese one looks more open.

Neither of the buildings particularly catches my eye though.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:07 AM   #14
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Both are nice, but I like the US one better.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:03 PM   #15
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the chinese embassy is more like a university student apartment in some remote provinces of china. i really cant agree the master's taste in this case, tho his BOCHK is no doubt the No 1 skyscraper in the world IMO.
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Old November 5th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #16
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Ekk. not to be offensive , but, the chinese one sucks! The american one is way, way way better!
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Old November 5th, 2006, 01:07 AM   #17
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oh and, the chinese one looks like an apartment complex.. does anyone agree?
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Old November 6th, 2006, 11:38 AM   #18
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US Embassy is much better.
The chinese one looks like a college campus..
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Old November 7th, 2006, 04:21 AM   #19
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Not a fan of the Pei building. The Chinese one is nice.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 04:45 AM   #20
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Looking at those pictures, the embassy of the U.S. in the Philippines, in my opinion, is much bigger and far more sprawling.
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