The new embassy, designed by Michael Wilford, was built on the exact site of the 1875-1939 British Embassy and opened by the Queen on 18 July, 2000.
I think I like the visual design, with colourful geometric elements 'breaking through' a deliberately plain sandstone façade, but I'm not entirely sure whether the image is appropriate for the role. It's analogous to a fiftysomething merchant banker accessorising his pinstripe suit with a baseball cap and attempting to breakdance – there's a credibility gap.
I do appreciate the way the design somewhat hides key security features. For example, the colourful focal point masks the fact that there are no windows anywhere near ground level, and its being inset masks the fact that the (no doubt reinforced) front wall is ablative – even if a bomb destroyed the main gate and adjacent wall, the structural integrity of the embassy within wouldn't be compromised. Still, as I said in the main entry, I'm not proud to be a citizen of a nation which has knowingly put itself in a position to require a visibly fortified embassy.
The men in yellowish shirts are German police officers, guarding access to the embassy. The one on the right looked less than athletic, but I suppose one doesn't need to be physically imposing when carrying a pistol.
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