PWP Landscape Architecture

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United States Embassy – Beijing

Location

Beijing, China

Completion Date

2008

Client

United States Department of State

Architect

Criag Hartman of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San Francisco

Categories

>Gardens >Civic Landscapes

PWP's design for the 40,000-square-meter site mixes Eastern and Western garden elements in a fashion suitable for an embassy. Eastern elements include wooden bridges, a traditional lotus pond, various antique Chinese pavements, plantings of Chinese weeping willows, and clusters of traditional water-formed stones. Western elements include a raised grass circle with a cluster of low trees and the embassy flagpole, a fountain of oxygen jets, rows of American elms, and circular beds of American roses. The compound—which holds a cafeteria, gym, various recreation and seating areas, and groves of bamboo, paperbark maple, and lacebark pines—is surrounded by a continuous stone and concrete wall. Outside the wall is smooth; inside it is planted with Parthenocissus tricuspidata vines. Directly behind the wall lies a pool that surrounds the embassy buildings and acts as a moat.