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Embassy and Chancery of Switzerland

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1957–1958, William Lescaze. 2900 Cathedral Ave. NW
  • Embassy and Chancery of Switzerland (Franz Jantzen)

By the late 1950s the Swiss-born and -trained architect William Lescaze (1896–1969), one of the earliest practitioners of European modernism in America, was beginning to be influenced by the movement's later phases, notably the regular linear facade patterns created by exposed skeletal structures promoted by Mies van der Rohe. Miesian elements at the low and sprawling Swiss Embassy complex are still embryonic. Its cubic massing, planar wall treatment, and organization into a series of blank or unfenestrated walls set against glass ones are all so beautifully proportioned and detailed that the modern buildings fit comfortably into a residential neighborhood dominated by 1930s and 1940s historicist architecture.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Embassy and Chancery of Switzerland", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 365-366.

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