Raimund Abraham, the London embassy competition and the connections between them
Two of the biggest stories in the architecture world over the last couple of weeks have been the competition for a new American embassy in London, won by the Philadelphia firm KieranTimberlake, and the death in an L.A. traffic accident of the Austrian-born, New York-based architect Raimund Abraham.
In a piece for Sunday's Arts & Books section, I explore connections between the embassy project and Abraham's best-known building, the powerful Austrian Cultural Forum, a design dedicated to promoting Austria in the U.S. but controversial from the start for its toughness and sharp-edged attitude. In particular, I'm interested in how architects approach the task of representing their home countries abroad -- and how critical of national values or political missteps their governments allow the resulting buildings to be.
You can find the piece here.
-- Christopher Hawthorne
Photo: A rendering of the KiernanTimberlake design.