New York: A Philadelphia-based firm has been chosen to design a high security – USD 1 billion US embassy in London, which will feature a moat to prevent terrorist attacks.
Local residents had complained about the security barriers outside the current embassy in the Mayfair district, so the new building will include a 100-foot wide reflecting pond that also serves as a barricade.
“They integrated security into the design of an embassy for the 21 century. Part of its inspiration came from the tradition of English architecture, where they did build moats,” The New York Daily News quoted Jonathan Blyth, State Department spokesman, as saying.
However, Blyth was quick to add that the water body was technically different from a moat.
“It`s a reflecting pond. Our objective is to prevent the possibility of a vehicle getting to the embassy to cause damage. But we also wanted to make it an inviting area, and urban parks are very important to the landscape here in London,” he said.
He further said that the building will have numerous environmentally conscious features.
Construction on the new embassy will begin in 2013 and is expected to be completed by 2017.
It will be the most expensive US embassy, surpassing USD 700 million spent for the embassy in Baghdad.