C'est Bon Michael!

C'est Bon Michael!

The U.S. Embassy in Paris.
ParaScubaSailor / Flickr

Michael Maltzan has won the commission to design a new residential annex for the U.S. embassy in Paris. His firm Michael Maltzan Architecture beat out Allied Works and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, who were also shortlisted for the job.

The U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Paris.
Courtesy Family of Ambassador Charlie Rivkin

Located on the posh Avenue Gabriel, near the intersection of the Champs-Elysées and the Place de la Concorde, the project will serve primarily as a home for embassy staff, containing ten to twelve residential units. It will also contain a mixed-use component.

The building will be located next to the U.S. Embassy and near the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, a Renaissance-style building whose lush gardens are a legendary spot for diplomatic functions. In a nod to that history Maltzan said his building—whose design is not yet underway—will merge in some way with its landscape, which will be designed by famed French landscape architect Michel Desvigne, who has designed grounds for, among other projects, Jean Nouvel’s Walker Art Center expansion in Minneapolis and OMA and Norman Foster’s Dallas Center For The Performing Arts. The building, of course, will be contemporary, not classical, Maltzan added.

Maltzan was selected via the Department of State Bureau of Overseas Buildings’ (BOB) Design Excellence program, modeled on the General Service Administration’s Design Excellence program. In recent years the BOB has commissioned the U.S. Embassy in Beijing by SOM and the U.S. Embassy in London by Kieran Timberlake.