US embassy proves a catalyst for £15bn Nine Elms regeneration project

By Oliver Wainwright

Standing in contrast to dark brick luxury flats, the glass citadel aims to be a benign fortress that is part of a wider rejuvenation of ‘Knightsbridge of the South'

Yew hedges containing steel bollards, ditches deep enough to stop a truck and a reflecting pool that doubles as a defensive moat are some of the anti-terrorist measures built into the rolling landscape of the new US embassy in south-west London , a $1bn (£750m) glass citadel that aims to be fortress without walls.

The astonishing array of “hostile vehicle mitigation” paraphernalia that surrounds the two-hectare site in Nine Elms is still being covered with bushes and disguised with benches, as the building prepares for its grand opening in January – whether Donald Trump's state visit happens or not. “An invitation has been sent, and we look forward to receiving the president here when he can make it,” is all US ambassador Woody Johnson will say on the matter.

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Source: US embassy proves a catalyst for £15bn Nine Elms regeneration project