The site design for the 40,000-square-meter site marries Eastern and Western garden elements in a fashion suitable for a US governmental institution abroad. Eastern elements include wooden bridges, a traditional lotus pond, various antique Chinese pavements, plantings of Chinese weeping willows, and clusters of traditional water-formed stones. Western elements include a raised grass circle with a cluster of low trees and the embassy flagpole, a fountain of oxygen jets, rows of American elms, and circular beds of American roses. The compound—which holds a cafeteria, gym, various recreation and seating areas, and groves of bamboo, paperbark maple, and lacebark pines—is surrounded by a continuous stone and concrete wall. Outside the wall is smooth; inside it is planted with ivy. Directly behind the wall, a pool surrounds the embassy buildings, acting as a moat.
CLIENT United States Department of State
ARCHITECT Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
SIZE 10 acres
AWARDS 2013 Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) Award, U.S. Department of State 2010 Good Design Is Good Business China Awards: Best Public Project 2009 AIA Citation Award