New US embassy in London to be bigger, sexier, stronger

With today’s modern threats all around us, US embassies have become a bit of an eyesore of late, many circumferentially heaped with piles of concrete, checkpoints, armor, guards and other, nefarious security. One would never imagine that those sorts of security facets could tastefully be integrated into a structure, but lo and behold, the folks at Philadelphia-based KieranTimberlake have pulled it off.

London’s new US Embassy, an update to the current, less-secure digs, looks less like an iron and concrete government building (J. Edgar Hoover building what?) and more like an architectural masterpiece from the 21st century.

As KieranTimberlake describes it:

The expressive challenge is 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. At the same time, the building must confront the environmental challenges all nations face with leading edge sustainable design.

And so the building will rise, a glass cube on the south shore of the Thames with an integrated urban park, photovoltaic (solar cell) roof panels and energy efficient design throughout.

That said, the new building will also still have plenty of security features, from a giant moat to (shrubbery infused!) barriers to blast resistant glazing.

Check out the full details over at KieranTimberlake. The new building should open up in 2013

[Via PRI’s The World]