US Embassy in London Competition

A collection of images from the recently closed competition for the United States Embassy in London:

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Richard Meier’s (New York) entry above.morphosis_embassy

The design from Morphosis (Santa Monica).

23piecobb_cap-popupThe Pei Cobb Freed entry (New York).

1267025314-kt-03-528x376Sadly, the image above is from the winning entry from Kieran Timberlake (Philadelphia).

Selected reading regarding the competition:

ArchDaily

A/N Blog

The New York Times

The Guardian.co.uk (in which Sir Richard Rogers decrees that the winning entry is “unfit to represent the US in Britain.”)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/feb/23/us-ambassador-spoiling-view-embassyT

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4 Responses to “US Embassy in London Competition”

  1. Michael Eltrich Says:

    I’d have to go with the Morphosis design.

    In the image above, the Kieran Timberlake entry just calls up too many memories of 1960′s US office buildings. Which is fine. Except, last I looked, this is now 2010 and we have a whole raft of issues and concerns — economic, social and architectural — that deserve attention and solutions.

    Some have said this building is not representative of America. I disagree. It is, in fact, perhaps too well representative of the United States of 2010. The faux moat, the tight (even up-tight) square form, all serve to reinforce an image of distance, separation, isolation. Coldness.

    I get it about security (I have close relatives who serve in the US Foreign Service), and I get it about environmental issues and LEED certification. Nonetheless, it’s a big square box, lacking both engagement and excitement. For One Billion Dollars.

  2. Quang Truong Says:

    Michael,
    I agree with you–I think the KieranTimberlake design was my least favorite of all the entries. I also had the unfortunate luck to work inside a KieranTimberlake building once, and it was one of the worst built environments I can remember in my life. The lifeless and unimaginative approach to the problems of this project are dismaying. It saddens me that they get to build.

  3. ЦARЬCHITECT » I AM A FORTRESS Says:

    [...] the building and its context, at least compared to the looser glancing forms some of the other competitors’ entries. Richard Meier’s design is particularly distinguished because the renderings show bollards: [...]

  4. Jim Winkler Says:

    This building is quite simply very ugly and I am embarrassed that this will be the symbolic image of my country in London for years to come. It is indeed possible to design a building that is environmentally friendly and beautiful.

    This building relies too heavily on the plastic scrims, an unproven building material. I fear that it won’t work both technically and visually and that they will be removed in less than 5 years leaving a bloody mess of a facade. We will probably have an upcoming competition to replace the exterior skin of the US Embassy.

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