New Australian Embassy Tops Out in Downtown DC, One Step Closer to Completion

WASHINGTON — (BUSINESS WIRE) — August 9, 2021 — The construction of the new Chancery for the Australian Embassy has reached a new milestone with the topping out of the new facility. On August 6, Clark Construction Group joined Australia’s Ambassador Paul Myler, Chargé d’affaires, Deputy Chief of Mission, Australian Embassy, Washington DC, to mark the significant milestone which marks the completion of structural concrete and the construction of the building’s full height.

Clark Construction Group is leading the construction efforts on the project. Australian architectural studio Bates Smart is the designer, with the DC-based architectural firm KCCT serving as the Architect of Record. Clark constructed the original Bates Smart-designed Australian Embassy building over 50 years ago.

Located in the heart of Washington, DC’s ‘Embassy Row’, the state-of-the-art, 213,600-square-foot embassy will enable the Australian government to advance its political, security, defense, development, trade, investment, and business relationships with the United States. Once complete, the New Chancery for the Australian Embassy will feature an expansive glass atrium, an open public area looking towards the White House, an exhibition gallery, and function spaces for ceremonial and public events.

“Today we mark the ‘topping out’ ceremony for the new Australian Embassy – an important milestone in the construction of the chancery but also a sign that Australia’s new official home in the heart of Washington, DC is a step closer to completion,” said the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, Australia’s Ambassador to the United States.

“Australia has no better friend or ally than the United States. It is fitting that this ceremony is taking place in 2021, when we celebrate seventy years of the ANZUS alliance. The new chancery exemplifies the spirit of partnership between our countries – designed by an Australian architectural firm (Bates Smart) and built by an American construction company (Clark Construction). Once complete, I envisage it as a place to experience the best of Australia; to discuss the big issues facing our nations; to do business; and to celebrate our unbreakable bond.”

The Clark Construction team has worked within the confines of a tight site, bordered by Scott Circle, the Philippines Embassy, and a historic cathedral-style church with fragile stained-glass windows, to construct the new building within the footprint of the old embassy building. After a year-long effort to demolish the former facility and excavate the below-grade structure, crews began vertical construction in November 2020. Since that time, crews have poured 18,700 cubic yards of concrete and laid 2,600 tons of rebar to bring the embassy to its full vertical height.

“This is such an exciting moment for the entire project team,” said Bill Bartling, Clark’s vice president in charge of the new embassy. “The topping out ceremony is an opportunity to pause and recognize the hard work of the craftworkers that have dedicated over 200,000 hours to reach this tremendous milestone.”

In addition to showcasing the Australian design, materials, and talent, the new embassy embodies Australia’s global leadership in sustainable design, construction, and innovation. The facility is pursuing the highest global environmental design certifications available, with features including a thermally efficient façade, a green roof with an extensive photovoltaic array, the expansive use of natural light, and the latest building services technologies.

The New Chancery for the Australian Embassy is scheduled to open in early 2023. Imagery from the topping-out ceremony can be found here.

About Clark Construction Group

Clark Construction Group, LLC, is one of the nation’s most experienced and respected providers of building and civil construction services companies with annual revenues of approximately $5 billion. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the company has offices strategically located to serve clients throughout the country. For more information, visit

About the Embassy of Australia and Consulates-General

The Embassy of Australia and Consulates-General advance Australia's foreign policy, security, international development, trade, investment and business interests and cultural exchange in the United States and foster a strong partnership between the governments and people of Australia and the United States.

The Australian Government has seven diplomatic missions in the United States – the Embassy in Washington, DC and consulates in Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

A broad range of Australian Government departments are represented, reflecting the strength and diversity of our bilateral relationship - the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Defence, Treasury, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Department of Home Affairs, Attorney-General's Department, the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and Australian National University.

Currently located in the National Geographic Society building at 1145 17th Street, NW, the Embassy in Washington, DC is Australia's second oldest overseas mission. The permanent chancery site is located at the start of ‘Embassy Row’ on Massachusetts Avenue in the Dupont Circle neighbourhood, and is scheduled to reopen in 2023 with a new, state of the art building incorporating the very best in Australian design, materials and architectural excellence.


Carly Thayer +1 (202) 756-7244

Nate Roxburgh +1 (202) 797-3478

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