Step inside the brand new $1 billion US embassy in London — which Trump says is worse than the old one and refuses to visit

The new US embassy in London.

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The new US embassy in London.
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Reuters

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 $1 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 $1 billion and will open on January 16.

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Reuters

Located on Nine Elms Lane, Vauxhall, it overlooks the River Thames — what Trump called “an off location.”

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Google Maps/Business Insider

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.”

Source: CBS, Washington Post


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.”

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Timberlake’s design of the new US embassy in London.
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KIERAN TIMBERLAKE

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.

Source: CBS, Washington Post


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.

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Getty Images

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.

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Reuters

The plastic polymer veil offers a view from the inside out.

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Reuters

There are also a dozen gardens in the embassy.

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Reuters

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.

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Reuters

And here’s another angle.

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Reuters

Here’s the consular section, which was still filled in boxes in December.

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Reuters

The embassy also has a bar.

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Reuters

It even has a gym, post office, Marine barracks, and probably a CIA station.

Source: CBS, Washington Post


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.