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KieranTimberlake’s design for American embassy in London skewered


Martin Filler’s piece at the NY Review of Books excoriates the Philadelphia architecture firm‘s new design for the American embassy in London.  A large part of the design constraints apparently came from the US government, which wanted a building in a less populated part of London; a building with less shatterproof glass (the glass exterior is coated with polymer);  and landscaping with water and lots of hillocks and berms — all of which are to protect against expected terrorist bomb attempts.

KieranTimberlake’s winning design for the American Embassy in London

Tidbits from Filler’s review:

“…”ground” floor is elevated atop a bunker-like podium,…landscaped with grassy berms, trenches, and a water feature best described as a moat.”

” …relation to the [Thames] river make it a twenty-first century avatar of the Tower of London…”

“the architectural equivalent of Kevlar body armor thinly disguised underneath a Tommy Hilfiger seersucker suit.”

Read Philly Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron’s take on the building.