David Chipperfield Architects UK : Saarinen was famous for shaping his stark neo-futuristic creations to fit the needs of any project, and beautifully combined rationalism with the use of arching and sweeping curves. His US Embassy is set for change in 2017 however, when the staff moves to a brand new Kieran Timberlake-designed building on the Nine Elms development, south of the river Thames. Dubbed the “next South Bank” district, Nine Elms will include a restored Battersea Power Station, housing and luxury leisure outlets for thousands of residents and visitors.
Good news for Chancery Building is that it will still receive the attention it deserves and benefit from a total makeover when British architect David Chipperfield steps in. Details of his plans reveal much more usable surrounding public space, and a new luxury hotel with five restaurants, six boutiques, a spa and a ballroom. Chipperfield will respect the integrity of Saarinen’s work however, and preserve the iconic stone facades and gilded aluminium eagle that presides over the building.
The transformation promises to have great positive impact on the surrounding streets of this Mayfair neighbourhood, as they too will benefit from intense upgrade work.
Architect Eero Saarinen worked simultaneously on the Chancery Building in the late 1950s and JFK airport’s TWA terminal in New York. The latter is set for a total revamp under the direction of developer MCR Development LLC, and will be transformed into a 500-room hotel with shops, conference space and a spa, for completion in late 2018.
Photo Courtesy : David Chipperfield Architects UK