U.S. Embassy Coumpound, Rabat, Morocco

Institutions

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The site design of the new US Embassy in Rabat, Morocco presented several unique challenges. With them, however, came opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Since the building, located in a wealthy residential neighborhood, was limited to two stories above grade, the site was scooped out to provide, at the lowest level, an open, inviting internal courtyard shared by all embassy employees, American and local. The result was a shaded oasis for outdoor dining and social gatherings. Part and parcel of the oasis was the incorporation of a wetland garden and fountain to recycle all of the embassy’s greywater. This approach permitted the courtyard, through sustainable methods, to adhere to the local tradition of courtyard gardens filled with lush planting and water in contrast to the arid exterior. The expansive gardens around the embassy’s exterior incorporate elements to delight all the senses. These range from fountains which bring the sound of water to the garden, to the texture of native stone, to the fragrance of various leaves and flowers. Every detail is designed to bring sensory delight and simultaneously to fulfill the embassy’s understandably stringent security requirements.

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