Designing for Resilience: the new U.S. Embassy in Mozambique

  • Date

    Wednesday, June 15 2022

  • Time

    4:00pm - 5:00pm

  • Location


This session showcases the newly completed U.S. Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique, designed in collaboration with YGH and Allied Works Architecture for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. Constructed by Pernix Group and completed in August 2021, the new embassy has already become an iconic symbol of the best of American architecture, design, engineering, construction, and sustainability in Maputo’s growing commercial district. Directly fronting the Indian Ocean, the new embassy faced many challenges being in a coastal marine environment and located in a tropical climate. The team employed innovative design solutions in landscape features, stormwater management, building systems, and high performing materials to create a sustainable and resilient facility. This session goes into detail on how federal policy greatly influenced these design strategies and how the team successfully implemented them to build a long lasting platform for American diplomacy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the mission and vision of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations and how they manage their global real estate portfolio.
  • Explore how policy plays a significant role in developing design solutions for federal diplomatic facilities.
  • Understand the strategies for site design and stormwater management in building a sustainable and resilient platform in a coastal marine environment.
  • Identify how local climate and environmental forces influenced the architecture of the new U.S. Embassy in Maputo in terms of building systems and material selection.

Presented by:

Minh Le, AIA

Mr. Minh Le, AIA is a public architect with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO). Since 2007, he has served as the Design Manager for missions in Africa and East Asia Pacific on capital security construction projects totally over $5B. His body of work includes completed diplomatic facilities in Burundi, Djibouti, Indonesia, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, and Taiwan, as well as ongoing projects in Australia, Nigeria, and Thailand.


Kyle Lommen

Kyle Lommen has over twenty-five years of experience designing, managing and directing projects for Allied Works across North America and internationally, and is currently Principal-in-Charge for the firm's Worldwide Design Services contract with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Building Operations. In his early career, Kyle was Project Architect on the Wieden+Kennedy World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and later moved east to serve as Director of Allied Works’ New York office from 2003-2011. His expertise includes the design and realization of innovative civic and cultural institutions, among these the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis, the National Music Centre of Canada in Calgary, and the National Veterans Memorial Museum in Columbus, Ohio. Most recently, Kyle was Allied Works’ project lead on the new United States Embassy Compound in Maputo Mozambique, which was completed in partnership with YGH Architecture. The Embassy is the subject of forthcoming monograph, and served as a catalyst for ongoing research into advanced systems and strategies for our nation’s diplomatic architecture.


Jesse Walt, AIA

Jesse Walt, AIA is an architectural design professional and firm shareholder with 18 years of experience with public and private entities spanning governmental, residential, hospitality and educational sectors. His attention to detail and innovative, creative thinking have made him adept at finding solutions for any challenge. An ability to communicate in straightforward and common terms with non-practitioners is another valuable asset in ensuring our clients’ understanding of needs, aspirations and intent are captured and implemented.

Organized by:

AIA|DC Public Architects Committee