US Consulate Hyderabad, India
US Consulate Hyderabad, India
Hyderabad, India

Reflecting History and Culture Through Unique Design

The new U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad, India skillfully integrates function, security, and sustainability with a dramatic site response to create a landmark building. It serves as an expression of the local identity, reflective of the rich history and culture of the host city and country. The new compound relocates the current mission post from an outgrown and aging renovated palace to a new facility able to truly represent the United States’ diplomatic mission in Hyderabad and accommodate its expanding needs.

The concept, planning, and design were highly influenced by the dynamic, challenging site characterized by massive boulder formations distributed across significant changes in elevation. The design harmonizes with the topography to have a minimal impact, limiting extensive excavation for economy and as a sign of respect toward the culturally significant landscape. The site is thoughtfully organized to preserve the most prominent formations. Where earthwork is necessary boulders are salvaged for reuse in the landscape design for the compound. The sensitive site approach compliments a small adjacent nature preserve featuring a seasonal lake integral to regional stormwater management, together forming an urban oasis representative of the native landscape all but disappeared within a context of rapid commercial development in the surrounding area.

The functional “strands” of the Chancery building program are woven together as a continuous element linking the high and low sides of the site separating public and service areas. The linear form becomes a background for experiential entry processionals. From the main access pavilion staff and visitors ascend the plateau through boulders and slickrock along a path that gradually reveals the main entrance. Likewise for consular visitors seeking diplomatic services an orchestrated accessible path winds through hillside gardens and boulder fields leading to an elevated entry terrace. The processions recall the ascent to the top of the ancient Golconda fortress a local historical landmark. Tensioned fabric shade canopies mark and provide cover to the consular arrival plaza and pathways.

Exposed textured cast in place white concrete comprises the main building envelope and structure. It is overlaid with an ornamental shade screen unifying the programmatically driven building openings articulated as a jali screen, a traditional response to the need for both shade and privacy providing filtered light and view. The screen is crafted of cut, formed and cast brass alloy panels, a ubiquitous material used throughout India with rich and timeless qualities and deep cultural reference. The geometric patterning is parametrically manipulated to modulate the openness of the screen to provide controlled light and selective views to interior spaces such as the representation gallery situated along the primary elevations. The consulate broke ground on the 70th anniversary of U.S.- India Relations symbolic of deepening the relationship between the United States and this region of India.

Gandhi led India to colonial independence through his simple approach to teaching and encouraging the Indian people to spin and weave their own cotton products, short-circuiting the exportation of wealth from the country. The spinning wheel of the weaver is universally recognized as a symbol of independence. The design of the consulate borrows from this concept of intertwining the differing functions of a consulate into a cohesive whole. The flowing form of the building captures the essence of the textile strands woven into one another and respectfully overlaid on the dynamic, rugged, and culturally significant landscape of the site.

Design Architect:  Richärd Kennedy Architects


Associate Architect: HGA


Client:  U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations


Size:  205,000 SF


Project Type:  Civic + Public


Services:  Architecture, Interior Design


Delivery Method:  Design Build - Bridging Documents


General Contractor:  Caddel Construction


Design MEP Engineer:  ARUP


Design Structural Engineer:  ARUP


Landscape Design Architect:  OLIN


Certification:  LEED Silver Certified

Gandhi led India to colonial independence through his simple approach to teaching and encouraging the Indian people to spin and weave their own cotton products, short-circuiting the exportation of wealth from the country. The spinning wheel of the weaver is universally recognized as a symbol of independence. The design of the consulate borrows from this concept of intertwining the differing functions of a consulate into a cohesive whole. The flowing form of the building captures the essence of the textile strands woven into one another and respectfully overlaid on the dynamic, rugged, and culturally significant landscape of the site.

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