A new book on government-funded design reminds us that architecture is never neutral

US Embassies of the Cold War: The Architecture of Democracy, Diplomacy and Defense | David B. Peterson | Onera Publishing | $75

On August 19, the State Department announced the groundbreaking of a new U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. With SHoP leading the project as design architect, the building will expand on the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program, which it boasts has overseen the completion of over 177 diplomatic facilities since 1999. Through the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO), the State Department has been expanding America’s architectural footprint abroad, though with little domestic attention. This lack of stateside attention to the State Department’s

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