The Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization Building

The Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization Building

The national capitol city has a number of architectural styles that are exemplified by buildings and memorials that are universally recognizable and seem to define the cityscape.  From the iconic neoclassical style of the U.S. Capitol Building, to the neo-classical Federal style of The White House, to the Greek Revival architecture of the Lincoln Memorial, much of the architecture of D.C. is distinctive.

One building which stands out in stark contrast to the architectural styles most commonly associated with the city is the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization Building.  Located at the corner of 23rd Street and Virginia Avenue in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood (MAP), it is Corbusian modernism with the facade of brise soleil and pilotis.

Named after the Swiss-French architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier,  who is considered one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture, the style was incorporated into the design of the building by Uruguayan architect Roman Fresnedo Siri, who won an international competition.  It was built in 1965.

The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established in 1948, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Pan American Health Organization is also an international public health agency.  It works with the peoples of the Americas to improve health and living standards of the people of the Americas.  It was founded in December of 1902, and now serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization.

Like its people, the buildings in D.C. are too diverse to be easily characterized by just a few architectural styles, but this is one building that stands out from the norm, and is certainly worth a visit.

PanAmerican02        PanAmerican03

  1. Another interesting post. This is one building that I really should photograph. I’ve been by it enough times. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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