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Embassy Embassy

Part 2 Project 2001
Samson Adjei
Royal College of Art, UK
How could a company become a country? Where would it go for verification? Embassy embassy builds on a merger: the globalized City and judicial aspects of Chancery Lane as site.

Global electronic communication has enabled social and environmental issues to gain recognition, yet multinational giants play them down. Both these factors have contributed to the high level of apathy amongst the ‘retail’ generation. It is proposed that, via a rogue multinational, a new ‘country’ is created to engage with global concerns in a more responsible way.

The architectural proposition is a second tier to the city -- a new embassy -- that complements the existing city, creating a forum for discussion of economic and political ideas and a temporary haven for employers, employees and visitors. The presence of the next generation is introduced into the area by the creation of a small infants school. This is positioned alongside the ‘monastic quarter’, where company executives take sabbaticals to reappreciate materiality and the sustainability of the matter we consume.

The expansion of the embassy via small sites allows for the creation of a new urban infrastructure, which includes such features as ‘double-aspect debating chambers’ and broadcast units, promoting political awareness and helping to repoliticise a despondent generation. Guest embassies can inhabit office space temporarily to discuss pressing issues. Embassy market research and public relations work together to support the Embassy’s agenda.

The proposal was stimulated by an interest in the way legislation affects space: how a space can signify something greater than its physicality. At the same time, existing site conditions have actuated the idea of a place that allows new visitors and part-time nationals to become both jury and participant through active debate.

Samson Adjei

This project maintains a personal political polemic as a basis for an architectural intervention in the landscape of London. Its apparent simplicity belies a sophisticated sense of territorial drama with the imposition of a multi-national Embassy in large self referential structures over the mediaeval street pattern of the legal district of Chancery Lane.

The lightweight structures, delivered by balloon from above, effortlessly span between whatever resources the lower buildings may provide. In terms of access from the street the existing stairs are used within particular offices. Like a symbiotic growth it enlivens and preserves a peculiar corner of the city. It thus demonstrates in a physical form a political and economic state of affairs that a conventional embassy in these global times cannot provide.

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