The development is centred around ‘The Chancery’ – an 11 storey cube shaped building. The north facing elevation is largely glazed, while the other three sides of the building have a distinctive outer shell made from ethylene tetraffluoroethylene (ETFE) – a transparent, lightweight polymer which is self cleaning.
The Kieran Timberlake design was commended by CABE for its design concept and the quality of its environmental strategies, and the US Government has said it wants the building to attain the ‘outstanding’ grade from its BREEAM environmental assessment – only around 30 buildings in the world have achieved this maximum rating.
Sustainable design features include a ground source heat pump to provide renewable energy and photovoltaic panels for harvesting solar power. The landscaped gardens and pond would provide new habitats for wildlife and greywater will be recycled on site.
Wandsworth Council’s planning chairman Cllr Nick Cuff said:”This remarkable building will be a fitting centerpiece for the new Nine Elms and could be among the highest performing buildings in the world in terms of energy use and sustainability.
“The Embassy’s move is already acting as a magnet for new investment in this part of London which has started to change on an enormous scale. Once it opens its doors the complex will attract more than 1,000 visitors everyday – boosting the local economy and bringing new life to this stretch of the South Bank.”
Three single storey entrance pavilions would be located on the perimeter of the site to manage access to the main building.
The scheme will provide new public open space including landscaped gardens, walkways and a large pond designed by Olin landscape architects.
Six internal gardens are located throughout the upper floors of the chancery building, each with a different theme representing the variety of the US landscape.
The area immediately south of the site is set to become a new public plaza. It is hoped this open space will form a key link in a linear park which is intended to run all the way through Nine Elms from Vauxhall Cross to Battersea Power Station.