mcmorgan + ekphrasis   2

London’s new US embassy: a very diplomatic America on Thames | Art and design | The Guardian
Architecture speaks volumes.

> The new embassy is bland, vanilla, just as a diplomatic dinner is rarely riotous and a diplomatic speech is rarely spellbinding. Its use of art and nature and decoration are somewhat Starbucks – a grande vanilla latte then – and with approximately the same relation to real architecture as that has to real coffee. Timberlake’s multiple objectives are all good and worthy, but like wishing for world peace and an end to hunger are a touch platitudinous. They also contain the occasional conflict and contradiction – most obviously between being fortified and being nice – which the architects have chosen to smooth over rather than dramatise. The basic shape of the building is a cube, which Timberlake explains as being a timeless form. It does give the embassy a presence, but – because it minimises the amount of expensive external skin in relation to the volume – it also happens to be the most efficient shape for an office building.
london  trump  ekphrasis 
january 2018 by mcmorgan
The fabulous new US embassy is best not tainted by a Trump visit | Oliver Wainwright | Opinion | The Guardian
Now on my must-visit list.

> Nine Elms was a shrewd choice. It was one of the only places in London where the US could dictate the evolution of a masterplan that would put its shimmering cube at the centre of a fortified arc of paranoia, its building set back behind a militarised terrain of berms, mounds and moats, and surrounded by a necklace of some of the most expensive new apartments in the city, whose developers have been eager to cash in on being part of a new high-security “diplomatic quarter”.
rhetoric  london  ekphrasis 
january 2018 by mcmorgan

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