Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Architecture Of Diplomacy

I have three different embassies for today, photographed in late summer. The Embassy of China is in Lowertown.

It is housed in what was once a convent that had belonged to the Sisters Of The Good Shepherd. From the looks of the place, that might well have dated back to the 19th century. The Chinese mission has been here since 1972.

This building, close to Sussex Drive in Lowertown, is home to the United Arab Emirates embassy, with a strong Middle Eastern influence in its architecture.

And this last one is on Sussex Drive, the embassy for Kuwait, also bearing Middle Eastern influences in its design.


  1. The Embassy of China looks very big and grand. I have not stepped into any embassy before. Have a great day!

  2. You know, it felt like late summer, here today.

  3. I would like to see also the spanish embassy.


  4. Of these three, I like the Chinese embassy the best.

  5. They looks solid!
    I guess they represent very differ style inside.
    Perhaps they have a Norwegian Embassy there too, or a Scandinavian one??

  6. It's sad that all embassies seem to be guarded by substantial iron fences.

  7. Embassies (in every country) always seem so devoid of people. I with they were teeming with people coming and going. It is nice to see the architecture.


  8. I agree with Stuart. I'm always added when I travel and see American Embassy's surrounded by razor wire.

  9. All three are impressive embassies William, I guess these days embassies around the world need extra security .

  10. It'll be an interesting day in Ottawa for all of us today!

  11. So interesting to see the various architecture. The Chinese one doesn't look anything like one would expect from China, however.

  12. @Nancy: it surprised me... it's very different from what you'd expect out of a Chinese mission. I'm sure they've redecorated inside more to their tastes in the forty years they've been there.

    @Whisk: we still have mild temperatures here.

    @Tomas: the next time I'm in New Edinburgh I'll have to go over. Though it's possible I've photographed it the last time I was over there, but from the opposite side of the river... it's located close to the Rideau River.

    @Halcyon: it still feels like it belongs in the city. The two other ones stand out for their architecture which doesn't quite fit in, though actually I don't mind.

    @Gunn: there are embassies for all four- Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, and each of them are in office buildings of one size or another. I've been in Norway's embassy, which occupies an office building floor, to sign a book of condolences after the 2011 attack. And I think the ambassador's residence for Sweden has been on the Doors Open tour. If it is again, I'd like to see it.

    @Stuart: all too true, many of them are.

    @Janis: I should photograph the Hungarian embassy sometime soon. It's very different.

    @Sharon: I'll be featuring the US embassy in the not so distant future... it's got a fence, but no razor wire.

    @Grace: yes, that is the case.

    @Gnome: I do try to keep this interesting.

    @Linda: but very fitting with its original use as a convent.

  13. The China building is not bad at all, the others two look like some of our elementary school buildings...

  14. I'm surprised to see the security around these embassies. Embassies are usually a show piece and you caught that in your photos.

  15. I especially love the first building, so nice to see it being used still, by another group. I live close to a convent, just a few blocks away from me. :)

  16. The old convent building is beautiful and looks like ones here in NB.

  17. The only one I like is the first one, which looks like an old factory to me!

  18. I went by the Chinese consulate here the other day and there was a large protest of some kind going on - wouldn't want to live near there with all the noise.

  19. The last two really do look Middle Eastern! Having said that, it seems strange to me that the Chinese would feel comfortable in a former convent. Hmmm

  20. @VP: I can see that.

    @Red: it doesn't surprise me with the Chinese embassy, since they see a lot of protests. I suspect the walls though do go back to the time of the convent, more to keep the nuns inside than the outside world out!

    @Linda: at least this way the building's preserved.

    @Pamela: I find myself wondering what became of the nuns, but I suspect some might be living over near Notre Dame.

    @Ciel: I can see that too.

    @RedPat: I've noticed this place tends to be standing out on its own, but still, there are houses not that far away, so protests could be problematic at times.

    @Revrunner: definitely!

    @EG: I found that odd too.

  21. Like the first building a lot, seems an odd swap, nuns for Chinese diplomats but then it's a funny old world...

  22. They're all interesting buildings. The Chinese embassy would seem to fit in with what I've seen of Ottawa (thanks to you) but it seems strikingly un-Chinese to me. And all three seem hardened against the threats of the world. Sad.

  23. I agree with VP...I. Thought of schools when I saw the last two.

  24. I always find it very interesting to see the kind of buildings that embassies take residence in. And the flags hanging outside.

  25. the Chinese Embassy is very specious and well laid out considering it was once a convent.

  26. @Geoff: quite true!

    @Carolann: thanks!

    @Kay: very much so.

    @Janey: that's what I'd think.

    @Denise: it can be quite a mix. I tend to like it when they occupy period houses.

    @Hamilton: it is, yes.

    @Dianne: very much so.

    @Beth: yes indeed.