Designing Embassies in an Era of Terror

Embassies are a critical diplomatic tool, but their original emphasis on representing a state has given way to defending the diplomats inside.

The American Society of Landscape Architects uses examples of Danish and American diplomatic architecture to show the change in design, orientation and use in embassies over the last century. From being housed in refurbished mansions, to flirtations with modernists like Aero Saarinen for the American Embassy in London, the approach to design remained steadfastly expansive and grand. Contemporary models like Standard Embassy Design (SED) are constructed around the assumption that "every embassy is a terrorist target." This echoes military standard operating procedure, and reflects not just the increased danger faced by the US abroad but the growing militarization of foreign policy.

Full Story: Diplomacy Through Architecture

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