February 15, 2022

US Embassy in London Receives AIA Architecture Award

The design of the US Embassy in London represents a holistic fusion of urbanism, architecture, and landscape. Photo © Richard Bryant

The American Institute of Architects has selected KieranTimberlake's US Embassy in London as a recipient of the 2022 Architecture Award, one of the most significant design awards for completed works of architecture.  
“On behalf of the full consultant team and our client, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations of the US Department of State, KieranTimberlake is honored to receive this recognition. In designing the new Embassy in London, we endeavored to set a new paradigm for the architecture of diplomacy. The building creates an environment for diplomacy by becoming a diplomat of the environment and establishing a special place within London representing the values of the United States of America,” remarked partner James Timberlake.

The Embassy Park presents a welcoming landscape to the Nine Elms neighborhood. Plantings were selected based on longstanding horticultural exchange between the United States and the United Kingdom. Photo © Richard Bryant

The US Embassy in London set a new standard in embassy design by representing the ideals of the American government—giving priority to transparency, openness, and equality, and drawing on the best of American architecture, engineering, technology, art, and culture.  
The design challenge for the Embassy was to embrace these values, creating a strong sense of welcome for the community, while meeting specific functional requirements for security, diplomatic work, and high levels of environmental sustainability. The Nine Elms district, a South Bank industrial zone under intense redevelopment, offers a unique setting for the new embassy. With an estimated 1,000 daily visitors and 800 staff, the Embassy project establishes a centerpiece for the neighborhood and a landmark along the Thames.  
Since opening in 2018, the Embassy has served as a vibrant setting for diplomatic work and cultural events, while receiving hundreds of thousands of consular visitors. The project received LEED Platinum certification and is on track to receive BREEAM Outstanding.  

The Embassy features commissions by contemporary artists from the United States and the United Kingdom that reflect cross-cultural dialogue. Mark Bradford's We the People is comprised of 32 panels depicting the entire US Constitution. Photo © Richard Bryant

Six interior gardens offer informal gathering space and encourage interaction among staff members across many agencies. The Pacific Northwest garden evokes the natural landscape through sculptural “trees” and living ferns at the forest floor. Photo © Richard Bryant

The Embassy's multi-layered facade reflects the London sky, forming an ever-changing crystalline image, while serving as a vital component of the building's sustainability strategy. Photo © Richard Bryant