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Embassy of Austria, Chancery

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1989–1992, Boeckl/Gates. 3524 International Ct. NW
  • Embassy of Austria, Chancery

Leopold Boeckl's strikingly beautiful Postmodern Austrian chancery is the most “foreign” of those yet built at the International Center in that its historical references—early twentieth-century Secessionist architecture of Vienna—had no contemporaneous American version. Its freshness and clarity belong to the most recent wave of European architectural traditions to be imported, one where cultural and national diversity are celebrated. The elegance of its forms, materials, and details is matched by its lyrical proportions. Each corner of the self-contained block is marked by diagonal towers clearly delineating the formal bowed front facade from the sides where dark-tinted windows are organized in a regular pattern of tall rectangles below and squares above. Granite squares set into the limestone walls just below the cornice recall the work of the Viennese architect Josef Hoffmann and reinforce the sense that Boeckl's design is informed by a model endlessly applied to every detail as well as the building's overall form. Its volumetric exteriors give little indication of interior spaces, which include a large interior atrium for cultural activities, a large library, and several apartments in addition to offices.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee
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Citation

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Embassy of Austria, Chancery", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DC-01-NW27.4.

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 373-374.

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