Rethinking Diplomatic Architecture
Faughnan, Eric Hewlett
Kelly, Brian P
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This thesis challenges the nature of current diplomatic buildings constructed abroad by the United States. The United States embassy and consulate, driven by fear of terrorism and the resulting requisite for security, has regressed from a dignified diplomatic center to an imposing fortress. Serving as a chief symbol of the United States abroad, an embassy should be a modest yet impressive structure, demonstrating diplomatic goals, fostering goodwill, and allowing access. In many capital cities within the Middle East and Europe, these symbols of America are often secluded from the urban core and are not an adequate representation of our nation. The new compound on the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey demonstrates this contrast as it replaces the downtown, historic Palazzo Corpi with a daunting, hilltop fortress. Many building types have demonstrated successful implementation of security features while remaining in the public view and maintaining admirable design. In current times, embassy design must incorporate security features and still respect culture of the host country, employ innovative construction techniques, and demonstrate the American ideals in a way that are polite yet sincere.