The symposium sets out to approach Belgian and Dutch embassy buildings, especially purpose-built embassies, as multi-layered projects of representation. Besides meeting the bureaucratic and housing needs of diplomats, embassy buildings form national symbols on foreign soil. How do both Belgium and the Netherlands –two distinctive yet related countries– tackle the question of national representation in embassy buildings in the context of an ever globalising world? Through a series of thematic sessions this symposium brings together different stakeholders engaged in embassy buildings. These include diplomats and officials of the Belgian and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, architects, artists, interior designers and academic researchers.
This symposium relates to ongoing PhD research on Belgian embassy buildings at the KU Leuven and Dutch embassy buildings at the TU Eindhoven and is organised in collaboration with the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs of Belgium and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is also linked to the FWO-funded Scientific Research Network ‘Texts ≈ Buildings: Dissecting Transpositions in Architectural Knowledge (1880-1980)’.