About the New Embassy Building

The United States government broke ground for the construction of the new American Embassy on Pariser Platz in October 2004. The building opened for business in the spring of 2008 (→ web archive).

The structure rises four and a quarter levels above the intersection of Behrenstrasse and Ebertstrasse and closes the last frontage on the historic Pariser Platz. The Embassy project is possible and benefits from improvements to the street scape and historically sensitive renovations to the Platz and the urban gardens. A green band of trees, gardens and walkways is created along the street fronts. The overall design has been enriched by extensive critique and collaboration with the Urban Planning authorities of Stadt Berlin and a sensitivity to the surrounding historic quarter required by the client, the Office of Overseas Building Operations of the United States Department of State.

The project was carried out by the acclaimed American architects Moore Ruble Yudell of Santa Monica, California. The palette of materials and design features have been carefully considered to complement the setting and to provide an open, yet secure, presentation of America.

The final design for the United States Embassy in Berlin is a transformation of the original 1996 competition design to meet new site, security, and program requirements. This new facility provides the USG with a safe, secure and fully functioning diplomatic platform.

The Embassy’s Ernst Cramer Conference Center

The Ernst Cramer Conference Center in the U.S. Embassy is named after Ernst Cramer, a German-American Jewish journalist. The first official program at the center was a meeting with Chancellor Merkel and President George H.W. Bush on July 4, 2008, the grand opening of the new U.S. Embassy. The center was dedicated on November 16, 2009. Cramer was interned in the concentration camp at Buchenwald for six weeks in 1938. In 1939, he received a visa from the original U.S. Embassy on Pariser Platz and left Germany for the U.S. in August of that year. He became an American citizen and returned to Europe as a soldier in 1944. Part of General Patton’s team that visited the liberated Buchenwald camp in 1945, he was so shocked by what he saw that he decided not to return to the United States but to stay in Germany with the American Military Government and help to rebuild German media and cultural institutions. On that day, he vowed that he would do all that he could to bring back decency and respectability to his native country. It was his personal refusal to allow inhumanity to triumph. As Ambassador Murphy says, “through the stations of his life, Ernst Cramer has always steadfastly refused to accept anything but the best in people.” His optimism and respect for the goals of democracy and freedom will live on in the Ernst Cramer Conference Center.