The Swiss Residence

Swiss Residence in Washington
Swiss Residence in Washington © Adrien Barakat

Completed in August 2006, the Swiss Residence is the official home of the Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States and an extension of the Swiss Embassy’s work space. It hosts approximately 400 official events and 3,000 guests in any given year. The building itself represents a collaboration of the Swiss and American architectural firms Rüssli Architekten (Lucern) and Steven Holl Architects (New York), who unanimously won a competition to design the building in 2001. Its charcoal color concrete and sand-blasted translucent exterior were inspired by the snow-covered Swiss Alps.

The building is constructed according to environmentally-friendly “Swiss Minergie Standards” and corresponds to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles for high-quality, sustainable construction. It uses up to 60% less energy than traditional buildings.