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Members Only Tour: Chinese Embassy Residence

This project, located in the Sheridan-Kalorama Historic District, is designed by Gensler. The architect is repurposing the old Chinese chancery-turned Embassy of the People’s Republic of China into a contemporary 130-unit apartment building. Designed to house workers for the embassy, redevelopment commenced in 2010 after a new embassy was built on Van Ness Street NW.

Part of the "Connecticut Apartment Corridor" formed during the early 20th century, the brick and limestone façade of the original 1922 St. Albans apartment building will be incorporated into the new building. Amenities include a basketball court, lap pool, and roof garden. The design will add a contemporary, but complementary expression to a neighborhood with traditional embassies, mansions, and grand apartment buildings.

Presented by: Phil Esocoff, FAIA and Dennis Zhang, AIA of Gensler

Organized by: Gensler and the Embassy of the Republic of China of the United States of America

Please Note: Meet on the southside of the circle near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Kalorama Road.


At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain how a historic brick and limestone façade is braced and engineered for new construction;
  • Identify design features inspired by cultural customs in a project for foreign residents;
  • Explore how the project will radically modernize a historic building while still fitting in with the existing neighborhood; and
  • Describe the importance of fostering an environment where foreign government workers can both live and work.

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