The new U.S. Embassy in Asunción supports the continued expansion of U.S.–Paraguayan diplomatic, security, and commercial relations. Located on the existing 14-acre embassy site, this multi-building project embodies the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) mission to provide safe, secure, functional, and resilient facilities that provide a robust platform for U.S. diplomacy abroad. The project’s sustainable design, construction, and operations display the best of U.S. architecture, engineering, and construction execution.
The building’s design draws from Guarani culture and traditional Paraguayan architectural customs, using local materials in earth tones. Protection and incorporation of the existing historic landscape was an important objective. Curvilinear structures like garden walls complement the garden areas surrounding the chancery, creating a contrast with the modernist geometry of the main buildings. The site incorporates simple, cohesive building forms with the existing landscape design to create opportunities for outdoor meetings and events. This integrated approach uses breezeways, deep overhangs, and porches to create shade and reduce solar heat gain. Canopy structures enable circulation across the site, directing staff and visitors to their destinations while providing protection from the sun and rain. The building’s cladding is based on local construction techniques of exposed concrete and locally quarried, handset stone. More than 1,300 U.S., Paraguayan, and third-country national workers have been involved in the construction of the new complex, including 922 Paraguayan workers.
The new embassy achieves rigorous energy-saving and sustainability goals, reducing environmental impact and optimizing building performance. Rain is collected and stored on site to supply 100 percent of the embassy’s irrigation needs and manage any increase in stormwater runoff from the site. Native and adaptive vegetation reduce the quantity of irrigation needed, while inside water consumption is significantly reduced with low flow plumbing fixtures. The Chancery’s exterior shell responds to the building’s orientation and the surrounding site to mitigate heat gain and effectively reduce energy consumption. LED lighting with integrated daylight dimming and occupancy controls also contributes to energy savings. The project is registered with USGBC’s LEED®, a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices, and is projected to achieve Silver certification. Additionally, the campus is recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
The permanent art collection, curated by OBO’s Office of Art in Embassies, includes art in a variety of media, including painting, photography, textiles, and sculpture that seek to create a dialogue of shared values between the people of both countries. Highlights include large-format canvases, mixed-media art, ñandutí-inspired textile art, glazed ceramics, and pen drawings made by indigenous artists of the Paraguayan Chaco region that reflect an understanding of the diversity and richness of U.S. and Paraguayan cultural heritage.