Ambassadorial Architecture

Tony Fretton Architects, London, have been appointed to design a new UK Embassy in Warsaw, Poland. The Embassy and the Ambassadors residence which are currently on seperate sites are to be brought together onto the current site of the residence and will be completed in 2006.

Tony Fretton Architects was founded in 1982. Previous projects include the Lisson Gallery in London, the Centre for Visual Arts in Sway, Hampshire and the Quay Arts Centre for visual and performing arts in the Isle of Wight.

The winning design expresses the Embassy and Residence as two simple volumes that form an entrance courtyard and preserve much of a well-defined rear garden. The Residence is clad in light coloured stone and set back from the street, with private quarters overlooking a separate secluded garden. The Embassy, by comparison, faces the main street. The large volume of the building is broken down by a regular fašade constructed of glass and translucent stone panels. This in turn is punctuated by finely detailed metal fins of a height that consciously marries with the adjacent Swedish Embassy and limits lateral views towards the Residence. Above, a double-storey roof lantern increases the Embassy's main elevation. Gentle slopes, reminiscent of the British countryside, will be introduced to the garden and silver birches will be planted along the site's western boundary to screen off surrounding tall buildings.

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the new Embassy will, "provide an elegant vision of modern Britain and act as a symbol of the long-standing close relationship between the British and Polish peoples."

The Foreign Office has been busy lately building lots of new Embassies overseas and their Web site has a neat little 'overseas estate tour' of properties in Berlin, Moscow, Tallinn, Rome, Sao Paulo and Dar es Salaam. Check it out.

Posted by Paul at May 10, 2003 04:59 AM |
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