I'm channeling my inner Dr. Jane Loeffler as I look at photos of the new Chinese embassy in Washington, and I'm getting a very Fortress-y vibe.
The front face of the embassy certainly doesn't seem to express openness. Not friendly or welcoming at all. I see a fence, gates, vehicle barriers (those low posts, or 'bollards,' that are placed in front of the gates), no windows, just a dark forbidding hole of an entrance and an oppressive stone wall. Heavens! Who would want to go to that place for a visa?
A long view of the exterior isn't any better. There's a perimeter fence and more barriers, and the facade looks more guarded than diplomatic. Are the Chinese expressing fear with that architecture, or just inscrutability?