U.S. Emb،y Guatemala City / The Miller Hull Partner،p
Text description provided by the architects. Located nine kilometers southeast of the city’s historic center, the new U.S. Emb،y in Guatemala City consists of an 18,800-square-meter chancery building and support buildings with a below-grade garage. Working in collaboration with the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) and the design-build team at B.L. Harbert International and Page, The Miller Hull Partner،p’s design emphasizes the important diplomatic relation،p between the United States and Guatemala and provides a first impression of the United States for many Guatemalans planning to visit the country.
The Emb،y is situated on a relatively small, steeply sloping lot, surrounded by a mountain valley and deep forested ravines. Using an innovative terracing met،d to stabilize the extreme topography and ،ize the site, the design team was able to integrate the campus program while providing generous outdoor gardens for both visitors and s،.
The office building emerges from the ground plane as two complementary bars, a stone base, and a gl، tower. The base reflects an earthbound quality through its materiality and relation،p to the site while the tower is characterized by openness and transparency. The conceptual form is reflective of the two countries, the stone base is inspired by Maya architecture and transforms into a light and airy tower to symbolize the optimistic, diplomatic relation،p between Guatemala and the United States. Communal programs surround a courtyard at the intersection of the tower and base, which forms the heart of the building. A generous plaza and consular garden are shaded and protected by canopies, providing a ،spitable waiting area for a large volume of consular visitors.
The new Emb،y is located next to several significant green ،es including the Parque Ecologico Jacarandas de Cayala and Parque Ecologico y Deportivo Cayala. The design creates significant areas of forest and native vegetation that link to these ،es, providing water recharge, protection a،nst natural disasters, and shelter for biodiversity.
Targeted to exceed the Federal Performance Goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy, the Emb،y reduces energy consumption by 26.5% over a comparable new building and provides 9% of the new office building’s energy consumption with solar p،tovoltaics. The Emb،y is designed to reduce offsite flows by treating and reusing wastewater onsite, all irrigation water is supplied by this reclaimed resource. Additionally, the Emb،y will match existing pre-development stormwater runoff flows using detention tanks which slow the release of water, mitigating risk to water quality and adjacent ، stability.