United States Embassy, Nassau, Bahamas
Floating over the landscape, the louvered front porch of the new U.S. Embassy provides an iconic civic presence in the Bahamas and serves as a welcoming gathering place for the Diplomatic community.
Located in downtown Nassau on the island of New Providence, the new U.S. Embassy campus is prominently located just south of the busy Nassau Cruise Terminal and at the intersection of the island’s major tourist and civic destinations. The new Embassy will offer convenient access to the Bahamian citizens and represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support our staff in the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives.
Local architectural precedents include low-scale structures in traditional British Colonial style that have been adapted in response to the climate through the presence of multiple shading devices such as louvered porches. The U.S. Embassy design takes inspiration from this regional precedent and presents a welcoming front porch that provides the diplomatic community with shelter from the sun and rain while allowing trade winds to passively cool the space.
The Embassy form is compact and simple. The low-scale massing promotes an intimate and approachable environment. The apparent height of the building is reduced by integrating the lowest floors into the landscape and treating the Main Entry level as a reveal, allowing the two office floors to rise above the landscape as the dominant volume. The common spaces open to the porch, capturing views beyond. The uppermost level is set back from the primary streets minimizing its impact on the apparent overall height.
The façade materials and articulation are a balance of environmental conditions, programmatic requirements, and cultural response. Ultra high-performance concrete vertical fins and louvers are used on the office windows to maximize daylight and views and to minimize solar heat gain. The density of fins varies to fade from high-density to low-density across each façade and continues across the porch to provide privacy and solar control while maintaining views out to the open ocean.
- Nassau, Bahamas
- 8,131 GSM Chancery; 5.05 acres
- Offices, Consular Services, Cafeteria, Multipurpose Room, Recreational Facilities, Medical Facilities, Warehouse, Shops, Entrance Pavilions, Parking Garage, Utility Building
- Ennead Design Team
Richard Olcott, Kevin McClurkan, Kate Mann, Felicia Berger, Kristen Alexander, Anna Baez, Edward Chang, Stefani Fachini, Janice Leong, Amy Mielke, Dipen Patel, Lynette Salas, Sam Sidersky, Margaret Tyrpa, Henry Weintraub