A $1 Billion Cube
14. December 2017
Take a peek at the U.S. Embassy London at 33 Nine Elms Lane. The building was designed by KieranTimberlake and will open for business on 16 January 2018.
Yesterday, the U.S. Embassy London opened its doors to the press and released some photographs of what's being reported as the most expensive Embassy ever created. KieranTimberlake, which won a competition for the project in 2010, calls the building a "a transparent crystalline cube set atop a monumental colonnade—a radiant beacon at the heart of Nine Elms."
Most striking is the high-performance facade "made of laminated glazing and an outer envelope of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a transparent film shaped to minimize solar gain and glare, affording generous natural light throughout the interior and access to the site's striking views."
The design is a shift from the monumentality of Eero Saarinen's London Chancery Building in Grosvenor Square (photo below) as well as other U.S. Government buildings with layers of fortress-like security. KieranTimberlake's commission and design was carried out under the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), which is responsible for buildings that reflect, in their words, "the best in American architecture."