Resistance is futile. After hearing that architectural models of the
Borg cube future US Embassy and the runner-up designs are on show at NLA, we simply had to pop by. Seeing the four options side-by-side, we have to admit that the winning KieranTimberlake cube is pretty powerful (although it's best side is perhaps not the one pictured). The view is reinforced when you inspect the high-resolution images on the surrounding walls. The bubble wrap façade looks playfully inventive up close, especially when reflected in the crescent lake. Yah, sucks to what you think. We're backing this one as a truly fresh piece of London architecture.
The three also-rans are not without merit. The design by Morphosis Architects is particularly accomplished, with curvy, sinuous forms in both building and landscape that mirror the twisting Thames and the torturous bureaucracies of immigration procedure. Richard Meier’s distinctive slab design resembles a giant wing flap or electric heater from certain angles. Finally, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners’ glass wedge looks the most Londony of the designs, recalling the nearby Park Plaza hotel on Westminster Bridge roundabout or a transverse section through the Gherkin. From above, as the model reveals, it looks a little like the Pentagon, consolidated into just three sides.
The US Embassy exhibition runs at New London Architecture (26 Store Street - just off Tottenham Court Road) until 20 March. Entry is free.