New U.S. Consulate General Matamoros Announced as 2021 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Prize Winner | New


The United States Consulate General in Matamoros. All images: Richärd Kennedy Architects

The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) Consulate General’s new project in Matamoros, Mexico received the 2021 International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. It joins a collection of some of the world’s best new buildings and town planning projects from over 35 countries.

The Chicago Athenaeum, alongside the European Center for Architecture, Art Design and Urban Studies, has organized this awards program to honor and recognize international projects that push the boundaries of architecture, regardless of style, the complexity, pattern and size of the budget.

In the category of government buildings, the United States Consulate General in Matamoros was designed by Richärd Kennedy Architects and built by BL Harbert International with Page Architects as the reference architect. As noted in the US State Department statement when announcing the award, the building was recognized “for its leadership in superior design and pioneering architectural vision.”

The multi-building consulate sits on a 7.6-acre site and includes a chancery, maritime security guard residence, support buildings, and community facilities at the Consulate General. According to the project description, the design embraces traditional regional architecture. The defining element of the building is the latilla shade canopy, which defines the functional exterior rooms, provides shade and gives a feeling of openness to the facility. The landscaping includes extensive native plantations and stormwater management elements.

In addition, the Consulate houses a permanent art collection, curated by the Office of Art in Embassies, which includes contemporary art in a variety of media, including sculpture, painting and artist photography. from the United States and Mexico.

For 2021, more than 130 winning projects were selected from more than 800 applications from 46 countries. All winning entries can be viewed on the Chicago Athenaeum website here.

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