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24 February 2010

New US Embassy in London

Below is a few shots of  the design proposed  for the new US Embassy in London.

My first reaction is to query whether the  Apple Cube has been stolen from Manhattan, genetically enhanced and relocated to Nine Elms in Battersea.

The £500 million complex, expected on site in 2013,  is already creating a stir and provoking real debate. Is the synergy with Apple's flagship store deliberate? Is it a tank bombarding its way into London city or is it a stunning glass castle set in beautiful grounds, water and great views?

I believe it’s probably a mixture of all three. The design appears to have inherrent contradiction, deliberate or not. The American architects have commented that one of the drivers behind the design was to create a safe haven for US nationals working in the UK. Inadvertently, the powerful statement required to deliver that message appears to have also resulted in a building that has a  distinctly authoritarian aesthetic.

So safety achieved through a statement of power... sound familiar?  

A controversial design that is provoking a great raft of opinions. It certainly wouldn't look out of place nestled among the slick, contemporary Architecture of Canada Sqaure.

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