Terence Gower

Baghdad Case Study

US Embassy in Baghdad, 1957, © Louis Reens Estate

Nowhere is ideology and architecture so closely linked than in embassy buildings. In the 1950s, when Iraq was of economic and strategic interest to the USA, American architectural policy was intent on signaling transparency and a willingness to enter into dialog, which was reflected in the new embassy building in Baghdad in 1957. 50 years later – the relationship between the two countries having undergone a fundamental change – the embassy moved to a high security building. This new ‘Superbunker’ also reflects political relationships. Terence Gower presents his research-based work on the USA’s (architectural) foreign policy in the stylized 1950s interior of HKW.