The plans for the new American Embassy in London have been unveiled, but it is not without its critics.
04 March 2010
New American Embassy in London unveiled
The design for a new American Embassy was unveiled recently, a futuristic 12-storey cube of blast proof glass that incorporates sustainable building along with modern security features.
The American Embassy London, which has grown out of its current 50 year old building in Grosvenor Square, is expected to move into the new building near the Battersea power station by 2017.
Philadelphia architect firm Kieran Timberlake won the design competition for the American Embassy, beating 37 other submissions; however, the plans have not escaped controversy.
Critics have criticized the decision to commit US$1 billion to replace the embassy during difficult economic circumstances in America, and the design has also been criticised as bland and box-like.
James Timberlake, the lead architect for the design, said that he had tried to use the landscape to provide a defence against terror attacks and there would be "no fences and no walls” and that the embassy would be a "beacon of democracy – light filled and light emitting".
The new American Embassy will have all the high security requirements of a 21st century embassy, including a modern moat-pond surrounding part of the building, serving both as a security and an aesthetic feature.
Construction on the new building is expected to begin in 2013.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people make American Visa applications to the American Embassy.