EMBASSY FOR THE NATIONS OF THE TROPICAL ANDES

BERLIN - GERMANY

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE WITH HONOURS - 2010

 

Four embassies and a shared public building round a central courtyard; all the buildings are entered from this central space. They are further connected by an external timber skin and an underground car park. The public area faces the water with the pedestrian bridge sloping down towards the promenade, connecting the site and its platform of nations to the city.

 

PRIVATE + PUBLIC

One of the aims of the embassy is to encourage integration through transparency, both politically and architecturally. The handling of public and private space is important in terms of this integration and has been one of the main driving forces behind the design.


Throughout the design process, the private and public functions have been connected internally by a central space, which meant they were closely intertwined and achieved high levels of transparency.


In the process of trying to resolve these issues, the central space has evolved in size, form and character, with a final transition from internal to external. The current central space (external courtyard) acts as a semi-private buffer zone and a connecting element between the embassies and the public functions; it allows a fluid transition between the two and helps to define boundaries.

 

TEXTURES

The design does not try to reconcile national identity; instead it tries to portray some of the transparency, openness, warmth and colour which make up the region of the tropical andes.


Tall trees and vegetation along with the interior frame and skin facing the courtyard are an attempt to portray this textured character inspired by the people, culture and landscapes.

 

TIMBER SKIN

The transparent timber skin is a formal element facing out towards the city with its openness being dictated by the users inside. The softness and permeability of the timber is used to blur the boundary between the exterior and interior spaces so as to appear less like a wall and allow intermittent glimpses into the embassy.