Australian company Bates Smart has been selected to design the new Australian Embassy in Washington DC.

The government’s decision to construct a new building on the existing Embassy site will continue our presence in the heart of the Washington diplomatic precinct.

Australia’s relationship with the United States is one of our most significant, strategic and long-standing. In 1940 Richard Casey was sent to Washington DC by then Prime Minister Robert Menzies – Australia’s first diplomat posted outside the Commonwealth – highlighting the priority Australia placed on our relationship with the United States.

The new Embassy design will promote an enduring vision of a contemporary and innovative Australia, paying tribute to the Australian landscape. The design includes an expansive glass atrium in the centre of the building, a large open public space looking back towards the White House, with an exhibition gallery and function spaces.

Innovative environmental design solutions will be used throughout the building which will have the highest global environmental design standards.

Bates Smart is a prominent Australian architectural studio, with over 160 years of continual practice and has designed notable buildings in Australia including the New Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. 

Funding for this project was provided through the 2015-16 Budget process.

The current Embassy building was constructed in the mid-1960s and, due to the massive renovations required, the cost of repair is nearly equivalent to the cost of a new building.

The design for the new Embassy can be viewed at: http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-locations/missions/Pages/washington-embassy-project.aspx

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
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