Location: Manila, Philippines
The U.S. Chancery in Manila has had a storied history since its construction between 1937 and 1939, when it was built on filled land recovered from the nearby Bay. During World War II, with the invasion of the Philippines, it became the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Imperial Military, later becoming the Japanese Embassy. A few years later, the building was severely damaged in a heated battle when it was recaptured by the Allies and Philippine guerillas. In 1945, the building housed Japanese war trials in the Philippines. Finally, in 1946, the building returned to U.S. diplomatic service, serving as the current Chancery. Battle-scarred and time worn, the building required a comprehensive renovation worthy of its status as a symbol of World War II. The renovation incorporates architectural enhancements, building systems upgrades, structural upgrades, and even mitigation of potential flooding from adjacent Manila Bay. Michael Baker designed the historic renovation, collaborating with a design architect providing a new expansion to the existing building.