Somebody recommended I check out the Italian Embassy ages ago. I finally stumbled past it. Holy cow – it’s awesome! The Embassy is located at 3000 Whitehaven St, NW:
The building itself occupies 29,800 square feet, on a 230,300 square foot lot acquired from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1972.
The property boundaries are actually larger and include a fottpath into Rock Creek Park – commonly known as Lover’s Lane – that the Government of Italy decided to leave intact in an easement for the public’s continued enjoyment. As part of the agreement, the National Parks Service provides security and maintenance for the 1.4 acre parcel.
Out of concern for the environment special attention was given to preserving the existing treescape whenever possible during construction. As a result, the building blends naturally into its park-like surroundings.
The Embassy’s external facade is covered with approximately 42,000 blocks of rose Asiago marble (perlino rosato) that were custom cut to size at Italy’s Marina di Carrara, and carefully hand selected at the construction site.
The roof, notable for the elongated lines of its eaves, is covered completely with patina copper, resembling the natural oxidation of copper roofing on some of the surrounding buildings.
Italian artisans employed ancient techniques, faithful to a centuries-old formula invented centuries ago, to create authentic “Venetian terrazzo” floors for the atrium space.
The glass skydome was manufactured in California using specialized 3-D software applications, which simulated the assembly of the 270-plus thermally insulated glass panels. Despite the tight dimensional tolerances of the structure, the final on-site alignment process was accomplished successfully through the use of a sophisticated laser beam device.
I’d love to learn the story behind their random lawn decoration: