A $1 Billion Cube

 John Hill
14. December 2017
Photo: Richard Bryant/arcaidimages.com
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.
The building in September, before the moat was filled (Photo: Richard Bryant/arcaidimages.com)
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."
Lobby of the new embassy (Photo: Richard Bryant/arcaidimages.com)
​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 Pacific Forest Garden, located behind the ETFE facade (Photo: Richard Bryant/arcaidimages.com)
​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."
Eero Saarinen's American Embassy London Chancery Building from 1960 (Photo: U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom)

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