'Modern, welcoming, timeless, safe and energy efficient', say jury
Philadelphian firm Kieran Timberlake has staved off competition from three Pritzker Prize winners: Richard Meier, Morphosis Architects and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, to be announced as the winner of the Embassy of the U.S. London design competition. The architects' design will bring a new landmark to rival Battersea Power Station on the banks of the Thames.
37 architectural submissions were narrowed to a shortlist of 9 by the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations and both American and British leaders in the fields of architecture, academia and diplomacy selected four firms for the final phase of the competition.
The design was said to have, "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", according to the Embassy. The criteria outlined were for a 'modern, welcoming, timeless, safe and energy efficient' building.
What Kieran Timberlake has delivered in its design is a bold transparent box with surrounding public landscaping and paths on varying levels. Dramatic solar shading articulates the facade of the building from the second level leaving the ground level free from obstruction and transparent to passers by.
Moving forward with the design the firm will now work closely with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations in engaging in the consultation and planning process to include the Mayor's office, the Wandsworth Borough Council, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and residents.
The anticipated ground breaking on this landmark embassy will be in 2013 with a goal to complete the construction in 2017.
Niki May Young
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