Thom Mayne established his firm, Morphosis, in 1972.

Thom Mayne established his firm, Morphosis, in 1972.

Credit: Ian Allen


Morphosis Architects was selected as the designer for the new embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations has announced.

"Morphosis presented a strong, cohesive team with over 50 years of collaborative experience. Their presentation demonstrated the management and design approach required to successfully execute this project, as well as a thorough understanding of the importance and impact of an American Embassy in Beirut," stated the press release.

This project is especially sensitive given its history. Thirty years ago, a bombing at the embassy left 52 people dead. The embassy relocated, and the following year another bombing killed 11, according to the embassy's website. This project site is roughly seven miles north of the capital city's center, in Awkar, and near the current embassy.

Morphosis Architects is led by Thom Mayne, FAIA, the 2013 AIA Gold Medal winner. (Read ARCHITECT's profile on Mayne from the June 2013 issue). The firm, with offices in Culver City, Calif. and New York City, was selected from three final firms, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam/AECOM.

Six initial finalists were announced in June, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam/AECOM, Rafael Viñoly Architects, Steven Holl Architects, and Yazdani Studio, in addition to Morphosis Architects.