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New US embassy design revealed

The United States Department of State has announced that Philadelphia architecture firm KieranTimberlake has won the design competition for the new £650M London Embassy.

The new 12 storey, 45,000m² embassy building in Nine Elms, Wandsworth will sit on the south bank of the Thames, and will replace the old embassy in Mayfair.

US ambassador to the United Kingdom Louis B. Susman said: “KieranTimberlake’s design meets the goal of creating a modern, welcoming, timeless, safe and energy efficient embassy for the 21st century.

“The challenge is to give form to the core beliefs of our democracy − transparency, openness, and equality.”

KieranTimberlake

“Their concept most fully satisfied the requirements outlined in the design competition’s mission statement. The concept holds the greatest potential for developing a truly iconic embassy and is on the leading edge of sustainable design.”

KieranTimberlake said the design seeks to “give form to the core beliefs of our democracy − transparency, openness, and equality − and do so in a way that is both secure and welcoming.” The new design has been met with mixed reactions.

Wandsworth Council granted outline permission for the embassy in September 2009, hoping it would “kick-start wider regeneration of the area”, and must approve the new design before it is built. Construction is due to start in 2013 and to finish by 2017.

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