New Hanoi campus to be diplomatic emblem in Vietnam: US embassy

By Minh Nga   August 28, 2021 | 06:00 pm PT
New Hanoi campus to be diplomatic emblem in Vietnam: US embassy
The design of the new U.S. Embassy campus in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Embassy
The new embassy represents a significant milestone in the U.S. diplomatic relationship with Vietnam, according to the U.S. Embassy.

The new campus would ensure the U.S. diplomacy platform in Hanoi is "positioned to support and be a symbol of cooperation, friendship, and progress," said the embassy.

The U.S. Embassy in Vietnam on Wednesday signed an agreement with the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment to lease a land lot to build a new campus in the presence of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung and Hanoi Chairman Chu Ngoc Anh.

The signing ceremony took place while Harris paid an official visit to Vietnam as the first sitting U.S. vice president ever to have officially visited the country.

Vietnam and the U.S. reached an agreement on the current new embassy site in 2019.

Earlier this year, the Hanoi government granted approval for the U.S. to lease the site, issuing a land lease decision for 99 years for the campus to go up on a 3.2-hectare (8-acre) lot.

The design of the campus, costing $1.2 billion and located in Hanoi’s Cau Giay District, is inspired by Ha Long Bay, a top global tourist destination in northern Vietnam. It is further inspired by the agricultural traditions of farming and rice production, as seen in the landforms from Vietnam’s Mekong and Red River delta regions and the site’s own history as a rice paddy during the early 2000s.

The embassy said the project would "portray the forward-looking, reflective, and transparent approach to U.S. diplomacy" while its design "would become a concrete symbol of the important relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam."

The new campus would "demonstrate leadership in environmental sustainability and climate resilience" as a healthy and energy-efficient interior will be ensured by using sustainable materials that feature recycled content, low embodied carbon, and low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), a U.S. government agency that directs the worldwide overseas building program for the Department of State and the department itself will guarantee the project to meet high environmental and sustainability standards.

The OBO is responsible for overseeing site selection, design, construction, move-in, and facilities management of the campus while EYP Architecture & Engineering based in Washington, D.C. is the architect, working with a diverse team of experts to provide the latest in design and engineering methods.

A major goal of the design team is to incorporate both U.S. and Vietnamese design elements, including works by American, Vietnamese, and Vietnamese-American artists.

With site selection and planning completed, a ground-breaking ceremony will take place "at an appropriate time in the future," said the embassy.

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