United States Embassy, The Hague
The new U.S. Embassy at The Hague embraces its new rural setting by blending in with its surroundings, pleasing the local residents and city authorities, while meeting the programming requirements of the client.
A site was chosen outside the city in a rural district of large, privately owned country estates between the cities of The Hague and Wassenaar. The site itself has been a series of athletic fields for 50 years after it was bombed by the Allies in late 1945. It is surrounded by the country’s water canal system that helps to maintain over 40 percent of land area that would otherwise be underwater.
The main office building is maximized to its allowable zoning envelope and then a series of “pavilions” are carved out of the masses to house different parts of the program. The pavilions are connected together by circulation spaces and these wrap around a central service core. The public spaces of the building – the lobby, café and a communicating grand stair between the ground and first floors - are all located to be visible from the approach and entrance to the building.
Red brick is the main material and various patterns have been developed to help discern the hierarchy of the various buildings on the site with the office building becoming the most important.