President Donald Trump has cancelled his planned trip to Britain, where he was due to open the new US embassy.
In a tweet on Thursday, Trump claimed that the Obama administration had sold the former US embassy “for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location.”
The decision to sell the old embassy was actually taken during the George W Bush administration and reportedly driven by security concerns.
The new 12-story glass embassy, which is scheduled to open on January 16, cost $US1 billion (£730 million) – making it the most expensive embassy ever built.
Take a look inside:
This is the US new embassy in London, which cost $US1 billion and will open on January 16.
Located on Nine Elms Lane, Vauxhall, it overlooks the River Thames — what Trump called “an off location.”
The old US embassy, located in the ritzy neighbourhood of Mayfair, opened in 1960 and embodies a brutalist architectural design. Trump called this “perhaps the best located and finest embassy.”
But the new embassy is a 12-story glass cube without visible walls, which the designer, James Timberlake, said he wanted to exude “transparency, openness, equality.”
Timberlake also said he was inspired by European castles — and there’s even a moat. Martin Linton, a former MP in London, said it looked like a “sugar cube.”
The embassy rests on a hill about 100 feet back from the street, and the moat has waterfalls and deep trenches that could stop a truck bomb. It’s even beset by a 6-inch blast wall, which adds to the large price tag.
The building will also produce more energy than it uses: the roof is filled with solar panels, and the white part of the exterior is a plastic polymer that increases it’s energy efficiency.
Here is the lobby entrance, which is adorned with the US State Department embossed seal and the names of every US ambassador to the United Kingdom.
According to the Post, the inside is adorned with “frosted-glass walkways, inspirational quotes from the Constitution, neon sculptures, reclaimed teak benches, Cornwall granite, [and] its own subterranean wastewater treatment plan.”
The Evening Standard even called the inside of the embassy “stunning.”
Here is a view of the consular lobby, decorated with a sculpture of a typical home in 1950’s America.
In the consular section of the embassy is a huge photograph of the Winfield House garden, the official residence of the US ambassador to the UK.
The plastic polymer veil offers a view from the inside out.
There are also a dozen gardens in the embassy.
Above is the Canyonlands Garden, which represents the Grand Canyon and the south west desert landscapes of the US.
This is the visa and consular section.
And here’s another angle.
Here’s the consular section, which was still filled in boxes in December.
The embassy also has a bar.
It even has a gym, post office, Marine barracks, and probably a CIA station.
There’s a cafe too, which is decorated with glass tiles of the US State Department seal.
And finally, here’s Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to the UK, giving a tour in the video below.
— Ambassador Johnson (@USAmbUK) December 13, 2017
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