SOM and KPF selected, but HOK fails to make longlist for Battersea building

Kohn Pedersen Fox and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill are amongst the UK-based American firms competing to design the new US Embassy in London.

The longlist of nine US architects also includes Morphosis, the firm led by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, and Richard Meier, another Pritzker winner.

US Embassy in London
Credit: Dilettantio
Current US Embassy in London

But there is no room for HOK, which has designed US embassies in Jakarta and Nairobi, and with its long-term UK presence might have hoped to feature on the list.

The winning architect will design a new embassy building to be built in Battersea, south west London. The US embassy’s current home in Grosvenor Square will be sold off and redeveloped.

Only American architects were able to submit entries to the competition as US law states that its embassies must be designed by US architects with experience of high security design. However, the winner may take on a UK-based partner.

The list in full is:

  • Gwathmey Siegel and Associates
  • Kallmann McKinnell and Wood
  • Kieran Timberlake
  • Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Morphosis
  • PEI Cobb Freed and Partners
  • Perkins and Will
  • Richard Meier and Partners
  • Skidmore Owings and Merrill

The nine will produce conceptual drawings to be judged by a jury that includes Richard Rogers. Four or five will then be selected to draw up detailed designs.