Earlier this month, it was announced that the U.S Embassy, currently based in Grosvenor Square in London, will relocate to new premises in Nine Elms in the London borough of Wandsworth later this year.

The Current Building: Grosvenor Square, Mayfair

The current U.S Embassy building in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, was designed by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen in the 1950s. Its distinctive large gold anodized aluminum eagle, designed by American sculptor Theodore Roszak, has cemented the building’s iconic status and made it one of the most instantly recognizable buildings nationwide.

Since opening in 1960, the U.S Embassy has processed hundreds of thousands of visa applications and has been the site of multiple political events, including the infamous protest against the Vietnam War on March 17, 1968.

In 2008, the U.S Ambassador announced the construction of a new U.S Embassy building, citing a desire to create a “modern, secure and environmentally sustainable Embassy”.

The New Building: Nine Elms, Wandsworth

The new U.S Embassy building in Nine Elms, Wandsworth, was designed by firm Kieran Timberlake. It is a large glass cube-shaped building, with a moat on one side and green space on the other.

The building is surrounded by a 100ft defensive perimeter, in accordance with current security guidelines and is equipped with an anti-ram barrier. The exterior of the building is reportedly bomb-proof. In total, construction of the new building has cost approximately $1 billion (£770 million).  The building is designed to be entirely carbon-neutral, in accordance with the U.S Embassy’s environmental objectives.

While we will be sad to see the iconic U.S Embassy building at Grosvenor Square close its doors, we look forward to the opening of the new, secure, carbon neutral building in Nine Elms later this year.

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Published: 26th May 2017