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back to article US unveils planet-hugging London embassy

The US has unveiled the design of its new embassy in London - a "carbon neutral" glass cube described as a manifestation of the "core beliefs of our democracy - transparency, openness, and equality". The proposed US London embassy Philadelphia architects KieranTimberlake are at the helm of the £650m project, destined to land …

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"diplocube"

Yet another reason why I love El Reg!

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Non-US contractors?

Hehe... I remember where it got them with the embassy building in Moscow. That got bugged down to the physical brick level.

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This isn't the title you're looking for

Is it just me or does it look like it has a moat on one side and trenches on the other?

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Anonymous Coward

"transparency, openness, and equality"

/chokes

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Anonymous Coward

VAT

Wtf

that building is going to cost a couple of mill and the govermen would endanger them using UK contractors by carging them VAT

Fail

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Well..

..so long as the UK govt has a realistic chance of getting the same deal in reverse, I don't have a problem. After all, the idea of an embassy is that the ground space it occupies is the sovereign territory of the country it belongs to. Air Force One is a mobile example of this.. once on board, you're on American soil.

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Secure boundaries

"the required secure boundaries incised into the hillside and out of view".

They're using a ha-ha?

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Anonymous Coward

Lookit, an actual moat

Their democracy is nowadays more like a people's democratic republic's, but hey, at least they're transparently and openly attacking entire countries where people as much as look somewhat like a bunch of people flying planes into buildings. Very symbolic.

And we simply follow them on vapid promises and false pretenses. Fool me once.... While at it, that diplocube somewhat looks like a die. Will they or won't they? They'll be thinking that, of us.

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Anonymous Coward

Planet Orwell

Transparency, openness and equality?

ROFLMAO

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Moat

So that's not a moat and drawbridge to keep out the enemy (or car bombs) then - it's a symbol of the ocean that separates us?

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Coat

RE: "open to all Londoners"

...if they don't mind red dots trained on their foreheads while they loll about on the minefi-, er, grass.

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WTF

is a diplocube - google only lists the occurences in this article

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Alien

A diplocube?

It's not anything to do with the Borg. Definitely. Honest. Trust me.

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*ahem*

I believe the diplocube is reference to shape of said building being discussed in the article. I would say that said structure does look like it is designed with symmetry in mind. And of course a definition of symmetry is (not bothering with a dictionary at the moment) both sides equal from a dividing point or line. So hence a cube. And since it houses an embassy which usually houses diplomats, we have a very nice pet name of diplocube.

/rant

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M7S
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Embassy Park

Will that be sovereign US territory? Could be interesting for bye-laws if people behave antisocially whilst having a picnic. Might actually be safe to take the family there, occasional large bangs notwithstanding.

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Unhappy

WTF...

is a diplocube? Is this some attempt to make a cube sound sexy by building it out of beams and sticking a glass box on the outside? Maybe they have found a source of diplodocus remains and are grinding them up to produce some fantastic new building material?

The solar gain on this thing will be horrendous, thus ensuring that several megawatts of cooling is required and floods the building when the icecap melts. Bet they won't want to pay VAT on their energy bills either.

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FAIL

Initial considered thoughts

AAAGGGHHH My eyes! They bleed!

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Great

First, the most obvious; those who live in glass houses (embassies)...

Second, slightly less obvious; how can they reconcile the concept of transparency with the camouflaged nature of the security perimeter?

Third; is it just me.. or is this a mott and bailey design?

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Black Helicopters

no VAT eh?

"chiselling little crooks"

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FAIL

Re: no VAT eh?

There's no VAT on new build anyway, only on rebuild / refurbishment. This is why perfectly servicable, well built and attractive old buildings are knocked down and replaced with steel 'n glass pig's ears designed by ego-wanking architects.

The septics are right here, they shouldn't be charged VAT and unless there's a change in the VAT rules between now and 2013, they won't be. Presumably the point they were actually trying to make is that they'd quite like to stay where they are, but refurbishing and extending the existing site *would* attract VAT, so they're moving to a new building to avoid this.

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Badgers

"Embassy Park" surrounding the structure, open Embassy park open to all Londoners?

Sure, with snipers watching your every move.

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Grenade

Summat goes yer

I'd love to be the first to bring this down; why do they need a building so secure and "electronically impenetrable" in a 'friendly' state?

God, how I wish the pond was larger.

Oh, and before any yanks try to tell me how you saved Europe in WW1 and WW2 just think about why you took so long to get involved: talk about waiting to see if the buttered side landed up or down.

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Black Helicopters

Hmmm....

Reflecting core values... Surely that means being ostensibly transparent, open and democratic whilst in reality being the exact opposite. Seems this giant reflective blast-proof Borg hypercube fits the bill perfectly.

Resistance is futile.

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poor show

I preferred Warren Ellis' take.

You guys are getting lazy.

http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=8661

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Alert

Planet 'hugging'

read 'destroying' - it's a Borg Cube!

;-)

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lol at the moat

Half Moat and earthwork embankments, it's a 21st Century castle.

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Grenade

titular thingamubob

Actually, moats and earthworks are time honoured defences against a ground attack.

I would presume that the air is protected with stingers as seems to be the usual US tactic.

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Big Brother

You Will Be Assimilated

We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

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US unveils planet-hugging London embassy

Looks like a Borg Cube.

"Core beliefs"?

"You will be assimilated".

"Resistance is futile".

Yep, sounds about right.

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Anonymous Coward

Unimatrix Zero

Resistance is futile

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Alien

Assimilation anyone?

Is it me or has the Borg cube landed? Your oil will be added to the USA...

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Never mind the VAT

Is it inside the congestion charge region! (as currently the US Embassy are somewhat reluctant to pay CC)

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Anonymous Coward

Congestion charge and Mayfair are the reason...

It is outside the congestion charge region. That was one of the reasons (non-officially, naturally) why they want to move. Also, the increasingly upset neighbours in Mayfair (because of the way Grosvenor Square now looks and the dangers it represents to buildings around the area should a bomb go off) are also cited as a reason.

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Go

<title/>

It may be treehugging but it's got to be better than their current building. I was there a couple of years back and it's a horrible, dreary, run-down, overcrowded, 50's architecture, concrete craphole. According to Wikipedia, it's just been Grade II listed. God knows why.

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Megaphone

Yeah, right

When this was first announced it was quite clear that it was because the owner of the Mayfair building had put up the rent and that the US State Dept. was unwilling to pay for it. I don't mean to sound unfair, but the rest is spin.

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oh yes...

...and just one final point: would you (USA) please stop making reference to a "special", "cherished" or other "relationship", "partnership", etc., etc. The weirdness since the Obama election vis-a-vis the journalists is a case of tail-wags-dog and is just getting extremely tedious now. So if you wouldn't mind, let's just stop the navel-gazing.

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Headmaster

Never heard in the US

The only people AFAIK who refer to any kind of "special relationship" are the Brits, who imagine that the US gives a tinker's cuss about them if it doesn't align with their foreign policy.

ISTR the previous US ambassador explicitly forbade his staff from using the phrase, as well.

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Terminator

Borg cube?

Resistance is futile - you WILL be assimilated. I think we get the message...

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WTF?

Not subject to VAT?

Does *any* part of the US Govt in Britain get this treatment?

The Olympic Games won't (one reason they instantly went over budget) What part of the US Govt does not get this?

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Flame

We are the US government...

... We expect you, regardless of common sense and applicable laws and standards, to make exceptions for us. Because we are the US government. Period.

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Black Helicopters

Uh-oh

Looks like a Borg cube to me.

Prepare to be assimilated!

I heard the Ambassador talking about this on the radio last night, when he said open spaces and no big security walls etc, I (stupidly) assumed a nice landscaped area. Looks like a combo of a moat and a big feck-off ditch.

Security by old fashioned methods eh??

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That's...

....a bloody carbuncle if ever I saw one!

Plus I think the designers have been watching FlashForward as one side of the design (the side with the pond/half-moat) the looks a lot like the FBI offices in FF.

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Unhappy

see below

Bloody things got a moat around it.

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Vauxhall?

Hope their glass is mortar proof.

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better than the russian embassy in burn after reading

but the more pertinent comparison is with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, which was going to move from it's current gothic-y 'Spires' building and into a new one it was going to build that was nick-named 'the glass house' (it was going to envelope an existing church as well, which would have been _interesting_). Apart from not being able to afford the move, they eventually decided it was just a bad idea.

Diplocube is truly the only word for this. It's not a bad building, but it doesn't seem like an embassy. But 7 years to build? Is that how long it takes to get anything done in London?

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Resistance is futile

We are the borg. If you say something we don't like, our diplocube will destroy you.

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Unhappy

Its a castle

They don't build them out of stone these days, but its obviously a castle.

I've got a better use for the tax dollars...

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Anonymous Coward

sure looks better than the US Embassy in Canada

Cause "the brick", as it is referred to in Ottawa, is a sore point in the landscape as seen from Parliament Hill. Some may argue with a hint of humour, the US Embassy in Canada is the archetype of communist-style architecture.

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Big Brother

Transparency, openness and equality

What the... oh wait, I get it. Equality as in All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others. Sort of like War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength kind of thing. Like calling the police the Ministry of Love and the propaganda department the Ministry of Truth. That's OK, I see it now.

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hope someones getting paid in cash to make it

I don't think i'd be accepting a check from good o'le uncle sam. He doesn't seem to have any money in the bank to buy anything.

I do appreciate them outing what they are blowing our money on. The last announcement the IRS made about their needing of a new slew of shotguns reminded me that I also needed a new one.

The IRS wouldn't want me bringing a pistol to a shotgun battle now would they? Gotta have a fair fight!

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