USA embassy building

Famous embassy buildings in the USA

Devraj Lahiri Devraj Lahiri 24 April 2021
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Where are you going when you need a visa? Of course to the embassies and consulates. Embassies and consulates are places of hectic governmental activities. They are responsible for maintaining the diplomatic posture of their country of origin in the host nation. Ambassadors and consul generals are always in parleys with their counterparts from other nations and the host nation's representatives. The roles played by the ambassadors and the consul generals are varied. Modern-day diplomacy is not limited to just a channel of communication but more to economics. Trade is always at the top of the list. Cultural activities, military cooperation, et al. make up most of their time. 

The embassies and consulates are towers of power and influence. They convey an authoritative message. However, that does not mean that they would be drab in their outlook. Most embassies and consulates hire the best architects to create stunning designs that will shock and awe.

The District of Columbia is home to over 170 embassies, most of whom share spaces in the large apartment complexes or function out of their huge premises. Some of these premises are stunning to the bone. 

Are you wondering what are some famous buildings in the USA? Well, let us look at some of the embassies in the district of Columbia that define a pure class.

The first green Finnish Embassy building

flag of finland

Easily one of the best and not just from the architectural point of view. This building is one of the best embassy buildings In the USA. The Finnish embassy building is the first green embassy in the entire country. It is a LEED-certified building that adds no extra carbon footprint to the environment, so this building is an ideal illustration of the perfect amalgamation between form and functionality. The basic premise of the building was nature and a cabin amidst its bosom. Nestled amidst the dense foliage of the Rock Creek Park, the steel and glass structure resembles Finland in many ways. The natural light, open areas, and an intimate connection with nature.

 The wall overlooking the park is made of glass, and hence the greenery outside sort of melts into the interiors of the building. There are even a wooden deck and a catwalk overlooking the green landscape. 

The Finnish are nature lovers. Their embassy is a perfect example of being in the midst of it.

The famous Chinese Embassy building

china embassy

Trust the Chinese to come up with wonder, and they would. Made out of French limestone, the Chinese embassy is a resplendent greyish-yellow structure standing out in contrast to the other embassy building. Designed keeping in mind contemporary Chinese architectural aesthetics and landscaping, the Chinese embassy does shock and awe. 

The embassy has two wings housing all its functions and departments. There is a garden which connects the buildings. 

The Chinese are profound believers in the philosophy of oneness. Their granite and limestone creation amidst the connecting garden is testimony to that idea.

The amazing Brazilian Embassy building

brazilian embassy

Brazilians are the best architects. Many Brazilian architects have earned respect around the world through their masterpieces, and one such is the contemporarily designed Brazilian embassy. Designed by the famous Olava Redig de Campos, the Brazilian embassy brings back the 1970s to the fore. The steel and glass structure amidst a lush green garden and manicured lawns are a perfect blend of nature and modernity. The building is based on height, and there is a driveway to it.

It is easily one of the most striking embassies in the entire region.

The extraordinary Swedish Embassy building

sweden embassy

The Scandinavian country has its own set of rules when it comes to architecture. It does not conform to the time-tested ideas of monotonicity and routine. Aptly called the House of Sweden, the Swedish embassy also houses the embassy of Iceland. It stands tall on the Potomac riverfront, and that by itself is a stunning circumstance. This stunning steel and glass structure is as modern as they come.

The design and architecture of the Swedish embassy are a glaring illustration of their design and architectural philosophy. For this reason, the building was awarded the prestigious Kasper Salin Prize for Best Building in 2007.

The ideal time to watch this building is during the winter and after the sun has set. Against the white of the snow, the entire building lights up. The reflection that falls on the river is certainly the best click on anyone's Instagram profile.

The miraculous Estonian Embassy building

estonian embassy

While many countries decide to build their embassies, many take space inside apartments and old buildings. One such structure belongs to the Government of Estonia. This embassy building is one of the best embassy buildings in the USA. The embassy of Estonia is situated inside an old building built in neoclassical style. It is a stand-out building on Embassy Row and was originally built for a doctor in 1907.

The Peruvian embassy was earlier using the building, and The Government of Estonia bought it from them. The takeover was done in 1994.

This brick and stone structure is a testament to the architectural marvels old buildings exude. This building has withstood the test of time and may stand for more with a little renovation.

Indonesian Embassy building

indonesian embassy

They, too, had decided to move into an old mansion registered on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a 50 room mansion built in Beaux-Arts style, and its original owner was Evalyn Walsh Mclean. Before Indonesia purchased it, the building housed the International Red Cross. One of the striking features of this building is the statue of Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom, located on the front porch. It illustrates the cultural inclusiveness of the country. 

Moving to New York, there is some stunning architecture to savour.

Some of the embassies in New York that make you drool are listed below:

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy

french embassy

Trust the French, and they will never disappoint. Located at 927 Fifth Avenue, this gorgeous mansion was once called Whitney Payne Mansion. Built-in 1906 for philanthropist Payne Whitney, this building was designed by McKim, Mead & White. It is built in High Italian Renaissance Style and has stood the ravages of time beautifully. There are a French reading room and bookstore that is housed inside the building. It is open to all.

Consulate General of the Republic of Poland

poland general consulate

Located in the Joseph Raphael De Lamar House at 233 Madison Avenue on 37th Street in the Murray Hill neighbourhood, this C.P.H. Gilbert designed to house and built-in 1905 and based on the Beaux-Arts architectural philosophy, is a remarkable heritage entente. It is neoclassical and yet exudes pride and confidence in the modern world. The huge façade, massive mansard roof, and the gigantic stonework remind us of the castles of the yore. This building has stood the test of time, and it is a delight to watch it did.

Consulate General of Cape Verde

cape verde flag

One does not need to be a superpower or a huge economy to be stylish. All it needs is the heart. The Consulate General of Cape Verde is housed within a townhouse located at East 69th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. It is a dream-like Tudor House, enveloped in ashlar fieldstone. The beautifully crafted door adds to the dream-like structure. The tall windows and the stained glass are all part of this fabled structure.

Final words

meeting room

Embassies and consulates witness intense political and diplomatic debates and decision-making. That does not mean it has to exude a drab institutionalized demeanour. Let the spark flow. 

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Devraj Lahiri

Devraj Lahiri is a resident of Kolkata, India. He is an IT Entrepreneur by profession but a writer, traveller and a photographer by vocation. Besides, he is a gastronome who indulges in eating the myriad variety of delicacies while the universe keeps tempting him. His favourite leisure activity is walking around his hometown. The city of Kolkata is his muse, and he wishes never to leave it except for the short trips for travel inspiration.

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