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Special Mention
2008 Skyscraper Competition

Frank Mahan
United States


Special Mention

Special Mention


The government-established program for the new U.S. embassy currently under construction in Baghdad is extraordinarily large, dwarfing any other embassy in the world. This project accepts this dubious program as its starting point, but questions how it and the architecture might change over time. In the first radical gesture, the embassy is configured as a tower, the most iconic, visible, and counterintuitive form for the building.

Next, to advance the architectural project and test one possible scenario for the embassy’s decomposition, a hypothetical timeline for U.S. withdrawal based on an optimistic assumption of gradual but continuous improvement is proposed.

Finally, as the political, economic, and security situations improve in Iraq, programmatic units of the building are removed, gradually creating an incomplete monument to this challenging period. The U.S. withdrawal is registered by the form of the building.


Board - 1

Board - 1


Board - 2

Board - 2

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