A major £1 billion restoration of Grosvenor Square touches the fortress looking building of the US embassy in London. It is reported that the building will be turned into a luxury hotel. The building belongs to the Grade II and is known as one of most protected buildings in London. Next year, Ambassador Matthew Barzun together with his fellow diplomats will have to leave the building and move to a new home in Nine Elms.
The project of the new hotel is to be submitted to Westminster council this month. It will be a 5-star hotel with 137 guestrooms, spacious spa and grand ballroom for 1000 guests. The hotel will also include five restaurants and six high end shops. The building of the embassy belongs to Qatari investors who promise to turn it into an open space with lots of greenery. They will also demolish bollards and barriers that were installed after the 9/11 attacks. It is reported that redevelopment plans for the hotel were prepared by British architect Sir David Chipperfield. Qatari Diar, the owner of the building, made a public exhibition of the plans last month in order to hear feedback of local residents and heritage bodies.
The embassy on Grosvenor Square is the largest American embassy in Europe. The building has been used for diplomatic mission purposes since 1960. During its long history, the embassy was the place of protest against the US, with anti-Vietnam war demonstrations of 1968 being the most famous one.