Fortress North America Essay

Fortress North America Essay-74
With the sale of Saarinen’s building to the property development arm of the Qatari royal family (which has hired David Chipperfield Architects to convert it into a luxury hotel), funds were used to acquire a former rail-yard site south of the river, close to Battersea Power Station.

With the sale of Saarinen’s building to the property development arm of the Qatari royal family (which has hired David Chipperfield Architects to convert it into a luxury hotel), funds were used to acquire a former rail-yard site south of the river, close to Battersea Power Station.

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To the south, the site is edged with another seating wall—benches affixed to a thick slab of truck-impeding concrete—behind which the landscape rises in a defensive berm, a.k.a.

a “meadow” with the “sense of expansion characteristic of the rolling American plains.” As the cross section in the planning application shows, a third of the way along this mound the ground plummets into a steep ditch.

But these additions were still not deemed enough to protect this outpost of Fortress America.

Following a series of high-profile attacks on US embassies elsewhere in the world—including lethal bombings in 1983 outside the Beirut mission, and then in 1998 at embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, during which 220 embassy workers were killed and thousands more injured—US Congress ruled that all embassies must be set back from the street behind a 100-foot “seclusion zone,” and be built within a self-contained site of at least four and a half acres.

Its thick glass shell is merely one layer of defense in a sprawling five-acre complex that takes the architecture and urbanism of fear to new heights.

" data-hires="/uploads/image/attachment/1924/full_screen_42_KT_USEmbassy London_Construction.jpg" data-id="lightbox-image-block-404" src="/uploads/image/attachment/1924/c4_42_KT_USEmbassy London_Construction.jpg" / Housed in Eero Saarinen’s elegant Grosvenor Square embassy building since 1960, the US Mission to the United Kingdom decided to relocate when its ever-growing perimeter of bulky security paraphernalia could no longer be contained within the Georgian streets of Mayfair—and the terror threat could no longer be tolerated by its curtain-twitching neighbors.The design, the firm explained, was inspired by European castles—not in having 20-foot-thick stone walls and chutes for showering boiling oil down on the enemy, but in that the building’s defensive strategy would be hidden in the landscape.In principle, the scheme isn’t too far from a medieval motte and bailey.One of the biggest sections of the show is made up of hostile vehicle mitigation devices disguised as street furniture, showing how several tons of concrete and steel can be variously hidden inside benches, planters, and other hefty lumps to further clutter the sidewalk.Visit any of the capital’s major sights today—from the pseudo-public spaces beneath the Shard and Walkie-Talkie skyscrapers, to Kings Cross Station and the Olympic site—and you’ll see clusters of these seats-on-steroids, the contemporary city’s equivalent of moats and ramparts, only cloaked in a costume of granite and foliage.A class for whom high-security silos of luxury apartments are rapidly sprouting along this stretch of the river, in what is becoming a place of million penthouses equipped with personal panic rooms.But this 11-story cube, which currently stands in the middle of a postapocalyptic scene of mud and cranes, is in fact the makings of the new

" data-hires="/uploads/image/attachment/1924/full_screen_42_KT_USEmbassy London_Construction.jpg" data-id="lightbox-image-block-404" src="/uploads/image/attachment/1924/c4_42_KT_USEmbassy London_Construction.jpg" / Housed in Eero Saarinen’s elegant Grosvenor Square embassy building since 1960, the US Mission to the United Kingdom decided to relocate when its ever-growing perimeter of bulky security paraphernalia could no longer be contained within the Georgian streets of Mayfair—and the terror threat could no longer be tolerated by its curtain-twitching neighbors.

The design, the firm explained, was inspired by European castles—not in having 20-foot-thick stone walls and chutes for showering boiling oil down on the enemy, but in that the building’s defensive strategy would be hidden in the landscape.

In principle, the scheme isn’t too far from a medieval motte and bailey.

One of the biggest sections of the show is made up of hostile vehicle mitigation devices disguised as street furniture, showing how several tons of concrete and steel can be variously hidden inside benches, planters, and other hefty lumps to further clutter the sidewalk.

Visit any of the capital’s major sights today—from the pseudo-public spaces beneath the Shard and Walkie-Talkie skyscrapers, to Kings Cross Station and the Olympic site—and you’ll see clusters of these seats-on-steroids, the contemporary city’s equivalent of moats and ramparts, only cloaked in a costume of granite and foliage.

||

" data-hires="/uploads/image/attachment/1924/full_screen_42_KT_USEmbassy London_Construction.jpg" data-id="lightbox-image-block-404" src="/uploads/image/attachment/1924/c4_42_KT_USEmbassy London_Construction.jpg" / Housed in Eero Saarinen’s elegant Grosvenor Square embassy building since 1960, the US Mission to the United Kingdom decided to relocate when its ever-growing perimeter of bulky security paraphernalia could no longer be contained within the Georgian streets of Mayfair—and the terror threat could no longer be tolerated by its curtain-twitching neighbors.The design, the firm explained, was inspired by European castles—not in having 20-foot-thick stone walls and chutes for showering boiling oil down on the enemy, but in that the building’s defensive strategy would be hidden in the landscape.In principle, the scheme isn’t too far from a medieval motte and bailey.One of the biggest sections of the show is made up of hostile vehicle mitigation devices disguised as street furniture, showing how several tons of concrete and steel can be variously hidden inside benches, planters, and other hefty lumps to further clutter the sidewalk.Visit any of the capital’s major sights today—from the pseudo-public spaces beneath the Shard and Walkie-Talkie skyscrapers, to Kings Cross Station and the Olympic site—and you’ll see clusters of these seats-on-steroids, the contemporary city’s equivalent of moats and ramparts, only cloaked in a costume of granite and foliage.A class for whom high-security silos of luxury apartments are rapidly sprouting along this stretch of the river, in what is becoming a place of $45 million penthouses equipped with personal panic rooms.But this 11-story cube, which currently stands in the middle of a postapocalyptic scene of mud and cranes, is in fact the makings of the new $1-billion embassy of the United States of America.Walking past the hoarding that rings the construction site today, little would you imagine the world of defensive measures that are being conjured behind the innocuous plywood fence.When the Philadelphia-based firm Kieran Timberlake unveiled its competition-winning design for the new embassy in 2010, the architects proudly declared that there would be “no fences and no walls.” It was an attempt to signal a departure from the introverted compounds being built elsewhere.Parliament’s MPs might do well to visit London’s annual Security & Counter Terror Expo, a sprawling trade fair of paranoia, which proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof,” and how they can be tackled with ever more sophisticated products.Among the stands peddling surveillance drones, bomb-disposal robots, and portable forensics labs are endless varieties of bollards and fencing, available with any number of different “toppings”—from electrified wires and sensor detection systems, to good old lacerating razor wire.

-billion embassy of the United States of America.Walking past the hoarding that rings the construction site today, little would you imagine the world of defensive measures that are being conjured behind the innocuous plywood fence.When the Philadelphia-based firm Kieran Timberlake unveiled its competition-winning design for the new embassy in 2010, the architects proudly declared that there would be “no fences and no walls.” It was an attempt to signal a departure from the introverted compounds being built elsewhere.Parliament’s MPs might do well to visit London’s annual Security & Counter Terror Expo, a sprawling trade fair of paranoia, which proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof,” and how they can be tackled with ever more sophisticated products.Among the stands peddling surveillance drones, bomb-disposal robots, and portable forensics labs are endless varieties of bollards and fencing, available with any number of different “toppings”—from electrified wires and sensor detection systems, to good old lacerating razor wire.

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