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Raimund Abraham, the London embassy competition and the connections between them

March 20, 2010 | 11:00 am

Emb 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.

Credit: EPA.