United States Embassy

Moore Ruble Yudell

An important site: the Pariser Platz facade

This entrance is near the historic and very famous Brandenburg Gate and next to the DZ Bank by Frank Gehry. It occupies the largest of the building sites on Pariser Platz but was required to meet a number of requirements by the Berlin government regarding building height and setbacks, as well as window size and symmetry. The regulations also required stone facades, although this requirement no doubt was agreeable since the U. S. State department also had important security needs. In spite of the demands placed on the architects, the Embassy at this important site is a clear affirmation of the commitment the U. S. feels toward German-American relationships.

This design was the result of a competition with the finalists being some of the most prestigious American architects. In spite of the near-exact classicism of the Brandenburg Gate, a classical design was felt to be inappropriate given the Third Reich's obsession with classical architecture. Thus this Embassy is a rather institutional modernism with a few interesting flourishes. For example, this facade has a broken wall with a circular section which continues to the top of the building. Views on the architects' website show an elegant courtyard and interesting interiors.

The large size of the U. S Embassy is evident from these views, especially the photo in the middle.


Works Consulted or Quoted:
Rainer Haubrich et al. Berlin: The Architecture Guide. Braun Publishing, 2016. (German first edition, 2001)
Michael Imhof and Leon Krempel. Berlin. New Architecture: A Guide to the new Buildings from 1989 to today. Michael Imhof Verlag, 2012.

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© 2017 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site) and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.