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Aust gets $237m new embassy in US

AAP logoAAP 15/11/2016

As America gets a new president, Australia will get a new building representing our interests in the heart of Washington, DC.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has released the design, by architects Bates Smart, of the new $237 million Australian embassy in the US capital.

It includes an expansive glass atrium, a large open public space that looks towards the White House, and an exhibition gallery and function spaces.

The designers were inspired by the Australian landscape with its deserts, as depicted by artist Fred Williams, and clusters of trees.

The existing embassy, on Massachusetts Avenue, was built in the mid-1960s and is surrounded by scaffolding to protect the public from its crumbling facade.

Ms Bishop said the cost of repairs to the old embassy was nearly the same as the cost of demolishing it and constructing a new building.

The embassy will be temporarily relocated during construction.

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