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A New US Embassy And Perhaps A New Tube Station At Battersea

Published 3 July 2010

The imminent arrival of the new US Embassy in Nine Elms was quite literally the talk of the town when the plans were unveiled not too long ago. It is particularly interesting if, like me, you happen to live near the site where it will be landing, on Nine Elms lane, which runs between Vauxhall and Battersea and is very close to both Battersea Power Station and New Covent Garden Market.

The design for the site has finally been chosen. The CGI can be seen above, and it’s an impressive glass cube perched atop glass pillars all set within a grassy parkland with a large pond. It looks light, bright and open, and indeed these were key themes suggested by the US Embassy in their brief to designers. Recent talk of security measures, 30m blast zones and general terrorism paranoia have brought about associations with fortresses and moats and it does seem coincidental that it’s located just down the road from MI6 on the Albert Embankment.

The new embassy itself isn’t the most exciting thing about the development though. With a host of new flats and shops being built, it’s at the heart of a major regeneration of that area of Battersea. The biggest news is what it could mean for transport in the area. Much of the reason why this part of Battersea has never really up and come to the same extent as the now thriving area around Clapham Junction not very far away is the lack of good transport connections and specifically its lack of place on the all-important Tube map.

With the relocation of the US Embassy to bring 1000s of jobs to the area, plus all the new flats in the Battersea area and proposed developments of both New Covent Garden Market as a more consumer-oriented shopping location and Battersea Power Station as some kind of events venue, TfL have acknowledged that the area is in need of the Tube.

Nothing is confirmed, and money is unsurprisingly an issue, but a number of proposed routes have now been put forward for a new branch of the Northern Line which will run from Kennington station (where the Bank and Charring Cross branches already meet) to Battersea. As well as a stop near the Embassy, one proposal includes a stop further east on Nine Elms Lane which would alleviate pressure on Vauxhall station (which is already over-crowded) and give a reasonable interchange with national rail services and buses from the station. Other options put forward suggest the line goes directly via Vauxhall or Oval stations.

More CGI renderings of the new US Embassy in London (click for bigger picture):

Read the full proposal for the new Northern Line tube line branch here, where you can also make your voice heard.

You can also find out more about the new US Embassy building at the official website created for the move here.