The new American Embassy is located in the Nine Elms District on the Southbank of the River Thames. The embassy building rises 65m above ground, a glass façade and membrane solar shading devices provide the building iconic design.
The embassy entry hall is characterized by the abundance of natural light and a bespoke structural glass bridge and main stair.
The staircase is located in the main hall and connects the hall to the main entrance. The stair comprises 35 steps, each spanning 4.6m, and is divided in 2 segments of 13 steps and 22 steps respectively. Titanium inserts connect the rises and threads to one another. The structure is supported through the risers by 2 parallel steel beams, spaced 2m c/c and clad in 3mm sanded stainless steel.
A prominent glass bridge connects the main entrance and the consular entrance. The bridge is 36m long and 1.8m wide, a 3% inclination provides a comfortable link between two levels, and resides as an eye caching feature that provides a special character to the embassy’s entry hall.
The bridge, is an architectural design delight and a technical novelty. Thirteen cantilever glass fins, each with a thickness in excess of 90mm, made of extra clear glass, support the bridge and maximize the transparency.
The bridge floor comprises, 6mx1.6m glass panels with anti-slip treatment, each panel weighing 1.7 tonnes.
The balustrade glass panels are also fixed to the cantilever glass fins. These panels are made of 4x12mm laminated glass, each panel measuring 3mx3.4m and weigh 1.3 tonnes.
The glass balustrade and stainless steel handrail are supported by the riser through stainless steel components.