Suman Sorg's design for the new U.S. Consulate in Surabaya, Indonesia is a quiet elegant building that embodies U.S. democratic ideals while satisfying challenging programme and security requirements. To create a building that would withstand the test of time, Sorg researched indigenous temples and other ancient, sacred and representational gathering spaces. Inspired by the prevalent use of a local hardwood called paduk in these vernacular buildings, substantial geometric shading devices organize the subtle granite canvas of the façade and a primary sustainable design strategy. The wood louvers of the sunshades are brought into the interior spaces, connecting inside and out. These strategies are just a few that weigh the project equally as a representation of the U.S. Diplomatic Mission and of the extended context of its home on the island of Java. Suman Sorg
established her practice in 1986 and it has since become one of the largest female-owned architecture firms in the United States. As Chief Designer, Suman inspires her project teams with a strong commitment to thoughtful modern architecture that explores spatial, material, and visual experience. After careful examination of the unique characteristics of each place (site, climate, culture, community) and the programmatic requirements, Sorg Architects creates modern designs that are sculptural, and often monumental, yet geared toward the human scale. A long-standing interest in historic preservation complements Suman's modernist leanings; by combining contemporary techniques and design strategies with the innovative handling of both traditional architectural language and indigenous building materials, Sorg Architects creates architecture that relates to its extended context in a meaningful way.