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American Embassy design by Morphosis

The architects of the shortlisted scheme for the new American Embassy in London explain their design

This design champions openness while ensuring security. To create a perception of accessibility and to integrate with the immediate context, the site’s landscape slopes down to meet the street at ground level.

A chancery tower rises from the plinth, which is defined by the earth-sheltered consulate’s sloping green roof. The fluid form of the chancery tower is an iconic presence on the London skyline. Orientated towards the river and the city, the tower’s wings extend in an expansive gesture towards the city, opening to reveal a translucent dome at the heart of the building.

This proposal translates the universal symbol of the dome into a contemporary expression of the embassy’s public character and America’s civic ideals of democracy and freedom. Enveloped in translucent glass, the central soaring domed atrium reaches the full height of the building, functioning as a connective space at the heart of the embassy. The dome marks the embassy as a civic landmark for London, born out of the architectural heritage shared by the US and the UK.

The design seeks to create a US Embassy that stimulates optimism and aspirations for a peaceful, civilised society at this complex
and critical moment in our history.
Founded by Pritzker laureate Thom Mayne, Morphosis Architects has received 25 Progressive Architecture awards and over 90 American Institute of Architects awards

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