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View Full Version : New "ultra secure" US Embassy in London


Lord Blackadder
Feb 24, 2010, 10:35 AM
The US is building it's own castle of sorts in London, complete with moats and ditches. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8533297.stm)

It like like a giant version of the Manhattan Apple Store. Apart from the moats and ditches...

flopticalcube
Feb 24, 2010, 10:38 AM
Nothing like a big fence around your property to build that "special relationship".

niuniu
Feb 24, 2010, 10:39 AM
Fresh fruit every morning. Good move.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 24, 2010, 10:56 AM
It sounds like a real downgrade in location, but being next to MI6 is probably a factor.

velocityg4
Feb 24, 2010, 12:55 PM
Would it not make more sense to build ultra secure embassies in the countries which have constant political upheaval, harbor terrorists, and/or generally hate us to the point of attacking embassies with heavy fire power.

This just sounds like a huge waste of taxpayer money. This makes about as much sense as putting the FBI's organized crime task force in small rural towns rather than large cities. The only reason I can see them doing this is for politics, England is arguably our closest ally so we will build our best embassy there.

As far as need goes it would be better to build an embassy like this in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 24, 2010, 01:44 PM
Would it not make more sense to build ultra secure embassies in the countries which have constant political upheaval, harbor terrorists, and/or generally hate us to the point of attacking embassies with heavy fire power.

We do. But I'll bet our embassy in London is one of the busiest in the world, and it would make no sense not to make it as secure as is reasonably possible.

As far as need goes it would be better to build an embassy like this in Iraq or Afghanistan.

You obviously haven't heard of "Fortress America". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embassy_of_the_United_States_in_Baghdad)

Cave Man
Feb 24, 2010, 02:28 PM
The things you have to do in Londonistan. :D

RedTomato
Feb 24, 2010, 05:54 PM
Now I'll have to go a bit further to attend the protests at whatever stupid thing the USA does next to piss off the world (Obama? Given time, I'm sure he'll come up with something)

Never mind, I can do my fruit and veg shopping at the same time before heading back to my humble abode in leafy Bloomsbury full of communist pamphlets and copies of the Camden New Journal.

sushi
Feb 24, 2010, 06:08 PM
A billion dollars.

Got to admit, the design looks cool.

redking31591
Feb 24, 2010, 09:32 PM
Now I'll have to go a bit further to attend the protests at whatever stupid thing the USA does next to piss off the world (Obama? Given time, I'm sure he'll come up with something)

Never mind, I can do my fruit and veg shopping at the same time before heading back to my humble abode in leafy Bloomsbury full of communist pamphlets and copies of the Camden New Journal.

I've been wondering myself what we would do next to piss of the world next. We're due for something minor at least. Maybe the Olympics would be a good time.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 24, 2010, 09:45 PM
Got to admit, the design looks cool.

Especially when you compare it to the current embassy, which is in a nice location but hideous architecture-wise.

Consultant
Feb 24, 2010, 10:03 PM
This is their secret weapon

Was looking for the security guns that pops out of a box enclosure but can't find it.

Glass cube... want! Probably made of layers and layers of bullet proof stuff.

RedTomato
Feb 25, 2010, 05:32 AM
I've been wondering myself what we would do next to piss of the world next. We're due for something minor at least. Maybe the Olympics would be a good time.

There's been two minor Obama pissing offs already.

One was not following through on his promise to close Gitmo (but the world's media was full of carefully explained statements that actually it was more complex than he thought, and that Congress was dead set against him on this issue so it wasn't REALLY his fault.)

The other was the troop surge in Afghanistan. It's still not clear to a lot of people just why the USA is at war with a bunch of goat farmers in the mountains on the other side of the world, or what they hope to achieve there. And Obama gave no clear timetable for getting out there and putting military spending to better use on the home front. Probably because in all honesty, these goat farmers look seriously likely to beat the USA in the long run, using homemade explosives and guns from 1910, and he doesn't want it to be on his watch.

Next pissing off? Good question:
- Copyright,
- Net neutrality,
- CIA involvement with Google's servers,
- Gitmo (again),
- Afghanistan (again),
- Coverup of CIA torturing of EU nationals (currently going through UK courts at the moment, via a desperate rearguard action by the UK govt to hide the fact that that its own MI5 helped the CIA to torture some UK nationals).

Take your pick boys and gals.

Arran
Feb 25, 2010, 07:13 AM
No like.

For all its faults, the old building tried to fit in (size and height wise) with its neighbours. It only dominated one end of Grosvenor Square: Turn your back on it, and it was gone! The square remained a green and pleasant space. At night, all you really noticed was the flag - which was cool. The building melted into the urban streetscape.

But this new bristling carbuncle. What to say? It looks like there was a dear green square on the site - before this "landing-craft" plopped from the sky, slap-bang in the middle. It positively screams, "Look at me! Look at ME!", followed by a robotic, "Take me to your leader".

I know security's an issue, so why not just build the whole thing underground? Have a public park on top with a modest entrance pavilion. It was good enough for Apple in NY and I'm guessing the Londoners would appreciate some useable green space.

miles01110
Feb 25, 2010, 07:23 AM
It sounds like a real downgrade in location, but being next to MI6 is probably a factor.

It is. No one I know that has worked at the London Embassy has any desire to work at the new location.

Would it not make more sense to build ultra secure embassies in the countries which have constant political upheaval, harbor terrorists, and/or generally hate us to the point of attacking embassies with heavy fire power.

...we do just that in countries like you describe. You just don't hear about it.

This just sounds like a huge waste of taxpayer money. This makes about as much sense as putting the FBI's organized crime task force in small rural towns rather than large cities. The only reason I can see them doing this is for politics, England is arguably our closest ally so we will build our best embassy there.

Oh please. If you want to complain about wasting taxpayer money I'm pretty sure you could do a lot better than rebuilding an embassy in one of our most important military and economic partners. As the video states, a major reason for the new facility is that the current one is too small to conduct the amount of business that takes place there every day.


I know security's an issue, so why not just build the whole thing underground? Have a public park on top with a modest entrance pavilion. It was good enough for Apple in NY and I'm guessing the Londoners would appreciate some useable green space.

Cost and engineering reasons.

RedTomato
Feb 25, 2010, 07:47 AM
I know security's an issue, so why not just build the whole thing underground? Have a public park on top with a modest entrance pavilion. It was good enough for Apple in NY and I'm guessing the Londoners would appreciate some useable green space.

London's not Manhattan. It's difficult and expensive to build large spaces underground, especially in south London which has different geology to north London. I know of some large underground spaces in north London, but none in south London.

Peterkro
Feb 25, 2010, 07:50 AM
London's not Manhattan. It's difficult and expensive to build large spaces underground, especially in south London which has different geology to north London. I know of some large underground spaces in north London, but none in south London.

There are large underground bomb shelters in South London,three at Clapham and one in Stockwell for instance.

Queso
Feb 25, 2010, 07:51 AM
Never mind, I can do my fruit and veg shopping at the same time before heading back to my humble abode in leafy Bloomsbury full of communist pamphlets and copies of the Camden New Journal.
Ooh the CNJ. You've possibly read some of the crap I come up with when not on MR if you frequent the letters page :D

I think this is a great idea, if only because I'm sick of seeing Grosvenor Square so vandalised by concrete blocks and the like. Now if we can just get that corner of Regents Park back I'll be seriously happy.

Arran
Feb 25, 2010, 07:57 AM
...Cost and engineering reasons.

Yeah. Hadn't realized it was so close to the river.

Peterkro
Feb 25, 2010, 07:59 AM
When this monstrosity is build I'm guessing the wine bar in Vauxhall where the spooks from MI6 drink will be infested with CIA types as well,may well be worth a visit for a wierd night out.

Queso
Feb 25, 2010, 08:01 AM
When this monstrosity is build I'm guessing the wine bar in Vauxhall where the spooks from MI6 drink will be infested with CIA types as well,may well be worth a visit for a wierd night out.
I'll stick to the Tavern thanks :p

RedTomato
Feb 25, 2010, 08:04 AM
There are large underground bomb shelters in South London,three at Clapham and one in Stockwell for instance.

I used to live near the Stockwell one :) It's basically similar to a long tube tunnel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_deep-level_shelters

It's not a cavernous space like under the WTC towers, which what the Embassy would need.

Example of a north London cavernous space: Ambika P3 off Baker Street. http://london.unlike.net/locations/306919-Ambika-P3 - photo only shows a tiny part of this 14,000 sqft underground hangar. I had fun wandering around it in the dark a while ago. Worth a visit - the venue is better and more interesting to look at than most of the art shown there.

Peterkro
Feb 25, 2010, 08:27 AM
I'll stick to the Tavern thanks :p

It's the front line in the cultural wars innit,the freedom and diversity of the Tavern versus the conformity and colourlessness of MI6/US Embassy. :)

Consultant
Feb 25, 2010, 10:58 AM
No like.

For all its faults, the old building tried to fit in (size and height wise) with its neighbours. It only dominated one end of Grosvenor Square: Turn your back on it, and it was gone! The square remained a green and pleasant space. At night, all you really noticed was the flag - which was cool. The building melted into the urban streetscape.

But this new bristling carbuncle. What to say? It looks like there was a dear green square on the site - before this "landing-craft" plopped from the sky, slap-bang in the middle. It positively screams, "Look at me! Look at ME!", followed by a robotic, "Take me to your leader".


You obviously have not seen London's Gherkin building.

Eraserhead
Feb 25, 2010, 11:08 AM
A billion dollars.

If they'd sold the old embassy in July 2007 for the 500 million it was estimated to have been worth the project would have broken even.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 25, 2010, 11:37 AM
Well, they have sold nthe old embassy, I'm just not sure how much they got for it.

I disagree that the old one was so nice anyway - the location was nice, but the building itself is a horrible cold-war era concrete monstrosity.