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A bold reflection of the American Dream?

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Will Gompertz | 10:03 UK time, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Last night the long-awaited designs for the new American Embassy in London were revealed. They are by Kieran Timberlake, an architectural practice based in Philadelphia. The big glass cube reflects modernist tastes, but the surrounding water and walkway into the building seem to be a nod to earlier British architectural style - the castle. But then fortification is likely to have been quite high up on the list of "must-haves" on the original brief.

Winning design for US embassy in London and two short-listed designs

The response so far has been equivocal. Some feel that alternative designs presented by Thom Mayne and Richard Meier were more imaginative and a better emblem of American in London. But architecture as propaganda is a tricky business - you can't please all the people etc...

For many, time has not healed the aesthetic wound the current American Embassy inflicted upon its home in the Mayfair area of London. The new building will be on the south bank of the Thames, sitting between Battersea Power Station and the MI6 building. How will it fit into its new neighbourhood - a new best friend or a poor relation?

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