Embassy of Australia

The new Embassy of Australia reflects the spirit of Australia with its distinctive landscape, open skies, and vast scale.  The design team was tasked with creating an inviting space for cultural exchange within the parameters of secure design.

Materiality and light are pivotal in expressing the building’s design, with the façade’s appearance dynamically changing throughout the day. The interplay of angled copper cladding and extensive glazing creates a captivating expression of Australia, while respecting the surrounding classical architectural style. 

A prominent gateway entry and open ground plane invite public engagement. The central atrium connects the ground to the sky, offering visitors an immersive experience. A series of breakout spaces are vertically linked by a feature stair within the controlled access zone. The U-shaped plan ensures efficient floorplates, allowing departments to adapt to changing requirements.

Sustainability is integral, with LEED Gold Certification earned through innovative design. From the thermally efficient façade to a green roof with photovoltaics, the design embraces natural light, ensuring environmental responsibility.

The design includes numerous spaces for the display of Australian First Nations artists and furniture designers, ensuring a meaningful and engaging experience for all visitors.

The Embassy was designed by Bates Smart in association with KCCT.


Images by Ron Blunt and Joe Fletcher


Washington, DC


200,000 GSF


Bates Smart


Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


• Architecture
• Sustainable Design
• Security
• Interior Design
• Programming