Earlier this month Australian architecture practice Bates Smart was announced as the designer for the new Australian Embassy in the diplomatic heart of Washington.
The environmentally sensitive building, designed in partnership with local firm KCCT, embodies the spirit of Australia through direct references to the country’s distinctive landscape, such as its bright and clear natural light and open skies, its warm materiality and its vast scale. The use of these associations will create a civic building and symbol of Australia that is both enduring and welcoming.
An expansive glass atrium will flood the centre of the building with natural light. At ground floor level a large open public space will announce itself as the grand entry into the building, looking back towards the White House. This space will then lead guests into a sequence of finely crafted open, exhibition galleries and bespoke function spaces, to be used for ceremonial and public functions.
Surrounding the atrium space on the upper levels there will be a series of flexible working areas, creating a highly contemporary, healthy and open workspace setting.
Innovative environmental design will permeate the building, to achieve the highest global environmental standards. Features will include a thermally efficient façade, a green roof with an extensive photovoltaic array, expansive use of natural light and the latest building services technologies.