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Tour: The United States Diplomacy Center

Photo courtesy of the US Department of State

The United States Diplomacy Center (USDC), a museum dedicated to the history and practice of United States diplomacy, has been designed to house interpretive galleries and interactive presentations within an exterior pavilion and two future halls adjacent to the U.S. Department of State's Harry S Truman (HST) Building on 21st Street, NW. Recognizing the public's limited understanding of the real world practice of diplomacy, then Secretary Madeleine Albright began the USDC project in 2000. Join the Public Architects Committee for a tour with the award-winning Hany Hassan, FAIA (Principal, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects) and the State Department's USDC Director Kathy Johnson as they describe the planning, design and fruition of the recently completed first phase of this truly unique addition to the national capital's unparalleled collection of museums. Featured on the tour will be the 20,000 square foot exterior Pavilion, now home to the historic Signature Segment of the Berlin Wall signed by the political and civil society leaders whose work helped bring it down.

Presented by: Hany Hassan, FAIA & Kathy Johnson

Organized by: AIA|DC Public Architects Committee


After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how foreign affairs specialists worked with architects to program, plan, and create a museum experience that conveys the power of diplomacy as tool for world peace;
  • Identify building design strategies used to maximize environmental comfort and minimize energy consumption while accommodating building code restrictions;
  • Illustrate the innovative approach to appropriately leveraging a constrained site to create the best visitor experience while working with DC oversight bodies; and
  • Discuss the design team coordination efforts between the design team and the USDC team during the construction documents and construction administration phases of the project.