25 Comment

  • It’s the new Chinese embassy and a big thumbs down. I think that building is ugly as hell.

  • Chinese Embassy I think or at least one of their facilities. Just completed in the Spring. All the workers lived across the street in temp housing running shifts almost 24hrs a day. They did do a great job tearing down the temp apts they but and they put a real nice soccer field in its place.

  • new Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. This is the back side of the building–the entrance is actually on International Drive.

    More photos are on the architect’s website (Pei Partnership): http://www.ppa-ny.com/home.html

  • Yup, Chinese embassy. Took them over four years to build the thing.

    They pissed off a lot of people building it to, because traditionally, countries use local labor to build embassies, but they shipped in a ton of Chinese laborers.

  • I think the style is called tangram.

  • I think it looks kinda neat. Huge improvement over the old one. Though it would probably be better suited to a less densely developed, less architechturally traditional city than DC.

  • @oldmanclem: I’m sure local Iraqis were equally pissed when we decided to use filippinos to build the new Kuwaiti contracted embassy in Baghdad

  • It’s sorta a cross between brutalism, deconstuctivism, and a LSD trip.

  • It’s “I.M. Peism”…ever seen the Bank of China Tower in HK…yeah it’s his and people hate it because the squared linear design gives it terrible feng shui apparently


    and the East Wing of the NGA, that’s his too, and the Louvre pyramid, too

    basically everyone hates his work…

  • I no longer live in DC, but this was on my running route when I did live there…

    I watched that thing go up day-by-day.

    Best construction crew I have ever seen. Polite, clean, hard working. I would use them too. I do believe they worked 24 hours a day. I would run by some nights at like 11:30pm and they would be working away. Other mornings at 5:30am, just the same. Impressive.

  • Yeah, generally people work pretty hard when they and their families will be killed if they slack off.

  • I think it looks cool! I haven’t seen the pictures but I love the lines, I can’t believe I wouldn’t like it in person.

    I love DC’s traditional architecture too, but architecture and cityscapes are not static. They constantly evolve. For example, much of New York City’s best recognized and loved architecture does not match the original style of the city. Think Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Guggenheim, (former) World Trade Center.

    While I think it is important to be thoughtful when mixing styles, it’s not like they built this sandwiched between two row houses or something.

  • Countries that we have cause to spy on have their reasons for not using local labor.

  • um, the “construction workers” were essentially slaves kept under lock and key behind barbed wire fences throughout their stay here. They also commandeered the Days Inn on New York Avenue, put a barbed wire fence around it, and used it to house these guys as well. Really f-ed up.

  • The US requires that all classified construction on US buildings including embassies be performed by US citizens. This includes the embassy in Beijing, for which construction began at the same time as the Chinese embassy, and which is scheduled to open next month.

  • An article on the embassy, labor practices, and diplomatic security: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/30/AR2008073003288.html

  • Rukasu’s comment in re: to Pei

    “basically everyone hates his work…”

    is exceptionally , outstandingly wrong!

  • As others have mentioned, it was pretty much built with slave labor imported from China.

  • @anon5:12: sarcasm much? You have to admit, most of his works are met with a lot of hostility

  • They used imported labor instead of local because of the possibility of us figuring out a way to implant bugs in the walls…like the Soviets did to us in Moscow.

  • Ah brutalism, quite rough on the eyes…

  • chill out about not using local labor – @quigley is exactly right about the possibility of bugs being planted by the usa.

  • A smaller number have been left behind to build the new Chinese Embassy residential complex across from 2501 Porter.

  • A smaller number have been left behind to build the new Chinese Embassy residential complex across from 2501 Porter.

    They ‘re also living on the site:


  • That’s the Chinese Embassy, I’m surprised you got away with taking the photos.

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