The 'Undiplomatic' New U.S. Embassy in Iraq

The new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad embodies all of the negative connotations of the American presence in Iraq and provides an example of how not to build an embassy, according to Jonathan Glancey.
January 11, 2009, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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"What embassy architecture really shouldn't be, is like the new US embassy in Baghdad. Opened this week, this monster of a modern fortress designed by Berger Devine Yaeger , has been described by at least one US commentator as the "imperial mother ship dropping into Baghdad." It could, I suppose, be seen as a latter-day, Wild East-version of a 7th Cavalry fort, with the Iraqis playing the role of Native Americans."

"Whatever it might be in our imaginations, it spells "undiplomatic" in the kind of rough and ready capital letters found stencilled on to the side of tanks, armoured cars and military trucks. And given that this vast compound – 10 times bigger than the UN complex in Manhattan and comprising over 20 buildings – has been built for the most part by humbly-paid "guest" workers from Bangladesh, the Philippines and elsewhere, it looks and feels like the work of a regime battling for first place with the galactic empire itself."

"Many of the best new embassy buildings fit into their host cities happily while offering something a little different to local design."

Thanks to ArchNewsNow

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Published on Friday, January 9, 2009 in Guardian
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