Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 25, 2009

U.S. Ambassador to China Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Consul General to Guangzhou Brian L. Goldbeck, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Lydia Muniz, and Chinese representatives Guangdong Vice Governor Wan Qingliang and Guangzhou Vice Mayor Cao Jianliao, broke ground on a New Consulate Compound (NCC) in Guangzhou, China today.

The Guangzhou NCC will provide a secure, safe, and functional facility for the approximately 300 employees who will work at the consulate. The NCC will be configured so that its seven state-of-the-art buildings are separated from each other but tied together by gardens and courtyards demonstrating the Department’s commitment to green design and sustainability. Several of the buildings on the site will feature “green” roofs that will mitigate thermal loads by providing insulation and also will minimize storm water run-off. Rooftops that are not green will be covered in white stone to reflect heat and minimize heat gain.

The centerpiece of the compound will be the four-story Consular office building featuring an interior Great Hall with over 67 service windows for American citizen services, visa interviews and other applicant services. The stone-clad building will be bathed with natural light and the Great Hall will feature a wood wall and ceiling finishes as well as a Chinese granite floor. The building facade and landscaped areas will be designed to integrate Chinese granite and other local stone with trees and other plantings from southern China.

The NCC will be constructed by two companies B.L. Harbert International, LLC of Birmingham, Alabama will construct the main chancery, and China Huashi Enterprises Company LTD of Guangzhou, China will construct the public access buildings on the facility. The approximate cost of the entire project is $260 million. The compound was designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) of San Francisco, California. SOM is the award wining architect of the Beijing Embassy, which opened in 2008. The proposed completion date for the NCC is 2012-13.

The new Consulate will represent a major architectural contribution to the fast growing region and to the city of Guangzhou; a significant example of sustainable development; much improved services to both Chinese and American citizens; and a strengthening of the U.S.-China relationship.

For further information, please contact Jonathan Blyth at or on (703) 875-4131.

PRN: 2009/1060