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SOM’s US embassy design wins award

The design for the United States Embassy in Beijing, China recently was awarded the Best Public Project for 2010 “Good Design Is Good Business” China Awards.

The San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) received the award at a March 12 ceremony in Shanghai.

The “Good Design Is Good Business” awards, unlike most design awards, honors both the clients and the architects who work together to create projects that demonstrate the power of design in the advancement of business and civic objectives.

The US Embassy in Beijing, which opened for the 2008 Olympics, aims to represent the best of 21st Century American architecture. OBO and SOM responded to the diplomatic role of the building by creating a space that is welcoming, secure, and symbolic while combining Eastern and Western traditions. The landscape design borrowed heavily from Chinese planning principles to create a place that represents American values of openness and cultural diversity.

The third, bi-annual awards, sponsored by Architectural Record and McGraw-Hill Construction, recognized 17 projects in six categories. The awards jury included editors from Architectural Record, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Time+Architecture.

The “Good Design Is Good Business” China Award is the second recognition for the Beijing Embassy. The Beijing Embassy won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) - San Francisco Chapter’s Excellence in Architecture Citation Award in 2009.

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