When the U.S. Mission outgrew the embassy at Henrik Ibsens Gate, EYP worked closely with the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations and the City of Oslo Planning and Building Agency to develop an open, organic design that would reflect the important diplomatic and historic ties between Norway and the United States.
A home away from home for more than 200 employees, the 10-acre embassy campus provides a safe, secure, and modern facility for conducting U.S. diplomacy. With close access to public transportation, visitors and staff can easily arrive from across the region to enjoy the grounds and explore native plantings and wildflowers. Rich with natural stone, the site features boulders that mimic the geological imprint of the grand Norwegian Fjords.
An important symbol of the countries’ enduring friendship, the embassy’s design honors Norwegian architectural tradition. On the way to the entrance pavilions, horizontal roofs — typical of a traditional Norwegian longhouse — are complemented by overhanging copper cornices, identical to the copper sheathing for the Statue of Liberty that was also mined in Norway.
Inside, natural light pours into the space through expansive windows, maximizing the brief hours of winter daylight and taking advantage of the long days of midsummer. Visitors can join dignitaries at an after-hours reception, while employees are able to work in state-of-the-art offices and conference rooms.
LEED Gold certified, the embassy far exceeds some of the strictest energy and sustainability codes in the world while meeting stringent security and resiliency requirements. Features like a green roof and a ground-source heat-exchange system create an energy-efficient, comfortable environment for visitors and staff. The embassy highlights the cultural intersection of the U.S. commitment to sustainability and Norway’s longstanding leadership in energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.
Energy Use Intensity
Below the AIA 2030 Baseline
- 10 acres
- 80,700 GSF new construction
- LEED Gold certified
Gary B. Seibert
Together, with the contribution of our team members, we accomplished something truly exceptional. I am intensely grateful to have been a part of it with you.
Balancing some of the world’s strictest energy codes with the security requirements of a modern Embassy required ongoing collaboration with DOS and OPBA, as well as design innovation to accomplish the Embassy’s mission.
As Norway prohibits the use of fossil fuels for heating, EYP drew on local expertise to design ground-source heat pumps enabling the building to meet 90% of peak heating load and 100% of peak cooling load with energy stored in bedrock. By sinking 54 double-looped wells with nearly 40 miles of piping through 1,000 feet of hard bedrock, the geothermal system exceeded Norwegian code requirements. The project also received LEED Gold Certification.