U.S. Embassy and Distinguished Guests Celebrate Start of Construction of New Building
Chargé d’Affaires Michael Heath and Director-General Witchu Vejjajiva of the Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with other distinguished guests, broke ground today on a new Embassy annex that is emblematic of the U.S.-Thai relationship: rooted in history and forward-looking.
Chargé d’Affaires Michael Heath commented, “In 2017 we marked 200 years of friendship between our two nations. In 2020 we celebrated both the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Consulate General in Chiang Mai, as well as the groundbreaking of a new Consulate compound.
I am proud to break new ground with you today on this latest example of our commitment to a shared future with Thailand.”
“All the U.S. Embassy office buildings in Thailand represent so much more than bricks and mortar; they embody the amity and spirit of cooperation – symbolizing the commitment to forging ahead with Thailand through thick and thin and on the basis of our shared values and mutual interests,” said Director-General Witchu. “This new building will both symbolize and synergize our common aspirations and joint efforts in the future,” he continued.
The design of the building and grounds reflect Thai cultural heritage, with areas that resemble Thailand’s chaan style of shaded gathering spaces and Lanna design features inspired by traditional Northern architecture.
At the same time, the state-of-the art building, which is expected to be completed in 2025, targets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification and incorporates environmentally friendly design elements, such as a rainwater and storm water management system and energy recovery air conditioning systems. These design features and construction technologies will reduce our demand for non-renewable energies and ease the burden on the city’s utilities.
To honor Bangkok’s history and the site’s beautiful flora, the new annex incorporates green space to showcase the natural beauty of Thailand, while reducing the heat-island effect associated with urban development. With the restoration of the two historic Salas, we are providing additional space to gather outside and to respect our shared history.
This new building, which will be housed on the existing U.S. Embassy compound, will centralize Embassy operations, modernize our platform for diplomacy and consular services, and strengthen the foundation of cooperation and collaboration between our nations.
For more information, please go to: https://www.state.gov/overseas-buildings-operations/u-s-embassy-bangkok.
Download high resolution photos here: https://state-low.box.com/v/groundbreaking-ceremony-press.