Dezeen Magazine

Embassy of the Czech Republic by Chalupa Architekti

Czech architects Chalupa Architekti have won a competition to design the new Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington DC, USA.

Here's some text from the architects:

Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, DC, USA

The design of the Embassy of the Czech Republic pays tribute to its unique natural setting, and the building itself is only an adjunct, not the main actor. Its form divides the site into three separate parts.

Firstly what emerges is a representational circular driveway space, the austere elegance of which underlines the drapery-like front façade made of frosted glass. Secondly, it creates a private garden space linked to the apartments and offices used for more working-like meetings.

Finally, there is the representational garden space which forms the conceptual core of the project. The garden is generously dimensioned, organically connected with the main lounges of the Embassy, and mediates a strong contact between the new building and the existing residence of the ambassador.

Designing the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington poses the special challenge (apart from the obvious creation of an environment suitable for work and meetings) of how to represent the Czech Republic abroad. It does not attempt to show what we are like, but what we would like to be like, or how we wish to be seen to the world: open, confident, friendly, helpful, and respectful, considerate to Nature and the environment in general, firmly rooted in rich cultural traditions and with respect to democratic principles; and always ready to help. Our hope is that the new Embassy building will foster this understanding.

1. prize in a competition to design

Embassy of Czech Republic in Washington, DC, USA

architects: Chalupa architekti / Marek Chalupa, Stepan Chalupa, Tomas Havlicek, Michal Rosicky, Tomas Horalik, Jakub Chuchlik

collaborators: Adam Gebrian, Petr Babak / Laborator, Zdenek Sendler, Vit Musil + Radim Petruska / miss3

location: 3900 Spring of Freedom St. NW, Washington, DC, USA

client: Czech Republic – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

design period: 07/2009–02/2010

gross floor area: 5 490m2