The new U.S. Embassy Compound (NEC) in Paramaribo draws upon the natural beauty of Suriname while incorporating functionality and sustainability in every aspect of the design. Located on an eight-acre site, the compound includes a Chancery office building, access buildings, a warehouse, shops / General Services Office annex, utility building, and facilities for the community.
The Chancery is expressed as four separate volumes oriented around a central gallery that serves as the heart of the Embassy. This primary space is the crossroads for all circulation, giving clarity to wayfinding, and allowing for strong visual connections to the landscape. The influence of the local environment and culture is evident in the interior of the buildings with the use of native tropical woods, vibrant colors, and carved wood accents. The team worked closely with the Art in Embassies leadership to identify multiple locations throughout the site and its buildings for works of art, representing both American and local artists and craftspeople. On the exterior, building materials draw upon the color, texture, and rhythm of the traditional Dutch Colonial architecture; horizontal siding uses a mix of white and wood tones accented by stainless steel canopies and window systems.
High-performance features of the project include the use of porous paving, green roofs, and rain gardens to manage, capture, and treat rainwater on site, almost eliminating the need for city-treated water. Energy use has been reduced through the integration of light fixture design and an enhanced commissioning process. The facility is anticipating LEED Silver certification.