Papua New Guinea to receive their first LEED certified building
The U.S. Embassy, designed for the U.S. Department of State, emphasises compatibility with the local climate and culture. Located in the coastline Harbour City development complex, the site offers a welcoming environment for visitors to the United States and Americans working abroad. A new design standard sets the tone for this new mixed-use community of diplomatic, commercial and high-end residences on land reclaimed from the Coral Sea on a man-made peninsula.
The vision for the compound echoes a marine theme to reflect the coastal region of Papua New Guinea's maritime culture. The site is designed with two distinct zones; a representational front lawn and entry plaza and a rear recreation area that provides an aesthetic balance between diplomacy and community. Local artisans will design inlaid panels serving as gates for the campus walkways that have been inspired by the colourful art and symbolism of the local culture. The islands' Parliament House inspired the curved profile of the steel columns at the front facade that support the sail-like tensile membranes continuing the nautical motif.
A cantilevered glass photovoltaic canopy shelters the entrance walkway. The 100 KW solar power plant reduces demand on the local power grid and provides a zero emissions energy source. The interior design utilises renewable and local materials to achieve the client's goal of LEED certification. The executive office spaces contain paneling made of 100% sisal grass, and the consular waiting areas and the gallery use local Papua New Guinea red rosewood paneling. This small but remarkable project serves as a focal point for Harbour City encouraging renewable energy technologies while incorporating indigenous design aesthetics into a prototype of U.S. embassy designs.