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Martin / Baxi Architects

ENTROPIA: EMBASSY

Martin / Baxi Architects

The now-demolished United States embassy in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, designed by Curtis & Davis and opened in 1967, was a gridded concrete volume containing six floors of modular office cells wrapped in a concrete screen, and surrounded by a street wall. There was a helipad on the roof. With the departure of the last helicopter in 1975, the inner cells go underground, leaving behind an empty box above. Entrance becomes vertical descent and thus renders the street wall redundant. Below, each office cell is stretched out into a volume that terminates in a two-sided electronic screen at the site’s outer perimeter and doubles back on itself in an identical volume terminating in a two-sided screen along the hallway. The empty box above is colored black in recognition of a new, electronic regime and equipped with a glowing Entropian logo.
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