Finally, after much anticipation and debate, the plans for the new US Embassy in London, designed by the Philadelphia firm KieranTimberlake were announced late last week.
The new building will be situated in the Nine Elms opportunity area of London, overlooking the southern edge of the Thames is to fill approx a five-acre site. The new design makes extensive use of glass which will be protected by a blast-resistant polymer skin; not only is this blast proof but the polymer skin will also shade the building and hold flexible solar panels. Along with all this the roof will be home to an array of solar panels that will “hide mechanical equipment while producing electricity”; “The goal is a building that creates more energy on balance than it uses”.
According to the US state department, the goal of the design of the new US embassy is to “reflect the values of the American people”. In an era so obsessed with terrorism and security the new London based US Embassy aspires to a different level focusing on sustainability, ecological responsibility and “neighborliness within a tight urban area”.
Although quoting the UK’s Guardian Newspaper “Cool, remote and superficially transparent, the winning design does reflect what we can divine of the US political process; Nominally open to all and yet, in practice, tightly controlled”.
The State Department hopes to break ground on the new embassy in 2013, with a planned opening date of 2017.