Tom Engelhardt explores the architectural and political significance of the mammoth US embassy construction project in Baghdad.
"[T]he architectural firm of BDY (Berger Devine Yaeger),[has] designed...the still-uncompleted American embassy, the largest on the planet, being constructed on a 104-acre stretch of land in the heart of Baghdad's embattled Green Zone...
When the BDY-designed embassy opens in September [it] won't lack for the amenities that Americans consider part and parcel of the good life, even in a "hardship" post. Take a look, for instance, at the embassy's 'pool house,' as imagined by BDY...Note the palm trees dotted around it, the expansive lawns, and those tennis courts discretely in the background.
When you look at the plans for it, you have to wonder: Can it, in any meaningful sense, be considered an embassy? And if so, an embassy to whom? ...Whatever its specific functions, it might best be described as the imperial Mother Ship dropping into Baghdad."