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Bates Smart unveils design of $237m Australian embassy in US


16 November 2016

Architectural firm Bates Smart has unveiled designs for the new $237m Australian embassy in Washington DC, US.

Drawing inspiration from the Australian landscape, the design will feature a central glass atrium, a large open public space, an exhibition gallery, and a function area, reported Yahoo news.

In addition, the new building will adhere to global environmental design standards.

"The government's decision to construct a new building on the existing embassy site will continue our presence in the heart of the Washington diplomatic precinct."

The original building was designed by Bates Smart and McCutcheon and opened in 1969. Resembling a symmetrical façade, its interiors features Australian timber.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop was quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald as saying that the building will “promote an enduring vision of a contemporary and innovative Australia, paying tribute to the Australian landscape".

Bishop also added: "The government's decision to construct a new building on the existing embassy site will continue our presence in the heart of the Washington diplomatic precinct."

The cost of renovations required on the existing embassy to boost safety standards is equivalent to that of a new building.

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