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US Embassy: it's gonna be tall

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The shortlisted quartet vying to design the new US Embassy in London was unveiled this week – but not any of the possible designs

Drawn from a longlist of nine, the four finalists include the practices of Pritzker Prize-winners Richard Meier (Richard Meier & Partners) and Tom Mayne (Morphosis Architects). These two are joined by Kieran Timberlake and PEI Cobb Freed & Partners.

The question that remains is ‘What will the new building actually look like?’ A clue comes in a scoping report uncovered by the AJ which was submitted to Wandsworth Council late last year. Unlike the US’s current low-rise 1950s Eero Saarinen-designed home in Grosvenor Square (pictured) the new south London nerve-centre for the Americans is going to be tall. According to the document (see right, page 1) the building in Nine Elms, Battersea is expected to be around 25 storeys high, although models will not be presented to the jury - which includes Richard Rogers – until November 2009.

London mayor Boris Johnson is not known for his love of skyscrapers. Sparks could fly.


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