U.S. Embassy, GabonSablière B.P. 4000
Design Achievement – The U.S. State Department requires embassies to symbolize a respect for, and integration of, local culture while serving as a tangible presence of the United States abroad. In Libreville, DLR Group's design takes inspiration from the local decorative art styles of contrasting geometric patterns of light and dark to develop a subtle, yet modern interpretation of this aesthetic. In keeping with the character of most modern buildings in Gabon, the exterior palette maintains a light-colored exterior. White granite cladding delineates three major functional volumes: a central two-story gallery flanked by two, three-story office wings. A recessed, variegated metal panel element wraps from the front of the building around the exterior to visually connect the two wings. The light and airy main entrance unites the new and existing buildings with a sheltered outdoor lobby. This also maintains the necessary separation between the two wings and their respective public and restricted functions. The main lobby introduces darker materials to provide an experiential contrast to the white building. In the two-story gallery space, modern acoustic wood paneling accentuates a linear play of light and shadow. The gallery focus is an angled monumental stairway. Upper bridges juxtapose translucent and clear glass, echoing the building exterior and reinforcing the clean modern aesthetic.
Scope Summary – Located on a 10-acre site, the 59,000 square foot building is one of seven buildings that form the U.S. Embassy campus. DLR Group provided architectural design services