Page D1.1 . 10 January 2007                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
NEWS   |   DESIGN   |   BUILDING   |   DESIGN TOOLS   |   ENVIRONMENT   |   CULTURE
< Prev Page Next Page >
 
DESIGN
 
  •  
  • Swiss Ambassador’s Residence
     
  •  
  • Mayne Courthouse
     
  •  
  • Elementary Aurora
     
  •  
  • Milan Trade Fair

     
    AND MORE
      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Search
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters
       

     
    QUIZ

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Swiss Ambassador’s Residence

    by William Lebovich

    The most unusual buildings in the U.S. capital city are often those erected by foreign governments for their embassies. Some are insipid interpretations of a country's architectural traditions. Others are inspired efforts to combine the best of a country's past architecture with cutting-edge trends.

    The new Swiss Ambassador's residence by Steven Holl Architects and Rüssli Architekten AG is in the latter category. I believe it is, despite some misdirection, among the most exciting and intellectually invigorating buildings in Washington, DC.

    The exterior is composed of horizontally striated charcoal-colored concrete walls adjoining vertically striated, etched, glacier-like glass walls. The visual effect is stunning and truly bone-chilling.

    Tribute to Two Landscapes

    This theme originates from Holl's recollection of his first visit to Switzerland in 1970, when he was struck by an "inspiring view of charcoal-stone mountain faces in contrast with white ice and snow." The Swiss landscape theme is exquisitely expressed in the alternating walls of concrete and glass in the ambassador's residence and the adjacent garage/ caretaker's house.

    The design process was a collaboration between Holl and his former apprentice, Swiss architect Justin Rüssli. Holl recalls: "I provided the conceptual intuitive beginning... while Justin had all of the elements of the program in mind to be analyzed against the initial inspirations." Rüssli worked closely with Holl over the Internet to ensure that the interrelated functions within the scheme were fully developed.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    Continue...

    ArchWeek Image

    Swiss Ambassador's residence in Washington, DC, by Steven Holl Architects and Rüssli Architekten.
    Photo: William Lebovich

    ArchWeek Image

    One of two sitting rooms.
    Photo: William Lebovich

     

    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

     
    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK   |   GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   NEW BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH
      ArchitectureWeek.com © 2007 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved