Breaking News: Local Architecture Firm Will Design New U.S. Embassy in London

According to the New York Times, Philadelphia-based architecture firm Kieran Timberlake has defeated the competition to land the contract for the new U.S. Embassy in London. The building is being described as "the greenest and one of the most expensive U.S. diplomatic buildings in the world."

A light-filled cube, the 12-story building will be surrounded by the natural defenses of meadow, woodland and a pond. Green design is a vital component of the plans:

Timberlake said the 500,000-square foot (45,000-square meter) building will also be one of the greenest. Its exterior is to be lined with energy-absorbing material, the roof is covered with solar panels, and the building will collect and store London's plentiful rainfall to be self-sufficient in water.

''Let me put it this way -- it's beyond carbon neutral,'' Timberlake said.

Kieran Timberlake's work includes the Atwater Commons residence building at Middlebury College in Vermont and the Sculpture Building at Yale University. It prides itself on creating sustainable buildings and it is a pioneer of prefabricated techniques.

You can view the winning design here.