“The unity of nearness and remoteness involved in every human relation is organized, in the phenomenon of the stranger, in a way which may be most briefly formulated by saying that in the relationship to him, distance means that he, who is close by, is far, and strangeness means that he, who also is far, is actually near. For, to be a stranger is naturally a very positive relation; it is a specific form of interaction.”
The Stranger, Georg Simmel, 1908
This thesis begins with the speculation (and possible need) of a European embassy in a No-Deal Brexit scenario. More than two years after its occurrence, the still ongoing uncertainties surrounding Brexit have provided an opportunity to question and imagine what a post-EU embassy could be, and how the divorce, but still shared custody of interests, would turn EU’s presence into a ‘familiar stranger’ in London.
The project investigates the role of political architecture through rethinking the primary function of embassies and the phenomenon of sovereignty—, the supreme authority of governing over itself without any interference. Furthermore, it explores the duality of the embassy typology—to be a country in another country—, the role of the ambassador and the often encountered contradictions between desires of protection and simultaneous exposure.
The thesis ultimately asks the question: How could a building embody and protect what was, what is and what will be of the European project?