Fortress North America Essay

Fortress North America Essay-64
But these additions were still not deemed enough to protect this outpost of Fortress America.

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To the south, the site is edged with another seating wall—benches affixed to a thick slab of truck-impeding concrete—behind which the landscape rises in a defensive berm, a.k.a.

a “meadow” with the “sense of expansion characteristic of the rolling American plains.” As the cross section in the planning application shows, a third of the way along this mound the ground plummets into a steep ditch.

Beginning as a very visible line of plastic bollards and police checkpoints, it has gradually dissolved into a barely perceptible border of CCTV cameras and license plate recognition software, rising bollards and strategic planting, chicanes and road closures, with the effect of progressively reducing the number of access points in and out of the Square Mile, making it easier to shut the city down at a moment’s notice.

In many ways it has returned the financial capital to the medieval walled city of yore, the hefty wall of stone and mortar simply replaced with barriers of a more surreptitious kind.

This building’s glass walls are six inches thick, formed from an elaborate sandwich of laminated sheets that make it capable of withstanding the most fearsome bomb a terrorist could throw at it.

The building might sound like the latest paranoid fantasy of London’s growing class of oligarchs and sheikhs.

Parliament’s MPs might do well to visit London’s annual Security & Counter Terror Expo, a sprawling trade fair of paranoia, which proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof,” and how they can be tackled with ever more sophisticated products.

Among the stands peddling surveillance drones, bomb-disposal robots, and portable forensics labs are endless varieties of bollards and fencing, available with any number of different “toppings”—from electrified wires and sensor detection systems, to good old lacerating razor wire.

A class for whom high-security silos of luxury apartments are rapidly sprouting along this stretch of the river, in what is becoming a place of million penthouses equipped with personal panic rooms.

But this 11-story cube, which currently stands in the middle of a postapocalyptic scene of mud and cranes, is in fact the makings of the new

The building might sound like the latest paranoid fantasy of London’s growing class of oligarchs and sheikhs.

Parliament’s MPs might do well to visit London’s annual Security & Counter Terror Expo, a sprawling trade fair of paranoia, which proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof,” and how they can be tackled with ever more sophisticated products.

Among the stands peddling surveillance drones, bomb-disposal robots, and portable forensics labs are endless varieties of bollards and fencing, available with any number of different “toppings”—from electrified wires and sensor detection systems, to good old lacerating razor wire.

A class for whom high-security silos of luxury apartments are rapidly sprouting along this stretch of the river, in what is becoming a place of $45 million penthouses equipped with personal panic rooms.

But this 11-story cube, which currently stands in the middle of a postapocalyptic scene of mud and cranes, is in fact the makings of the new $1-billion embassy of the United States of America.

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The building might sound like the latest paranoid fantasy of London’s growing class of oligarchs and sheikhs.Parliament’s MPs might do well to visit London’s annual Security & Counter Terror Expo, a sprawling trade fair of paranoia, which proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof,” and how they can be tackled with ever more sophisticated products.Among the stands peddling surveillance drones, bomb-disposal robots, and portable forensics labs are endless varieties of bollards and fencing, available with any number of different “toppings”—from electrified wires and sensor detection systems, to good old lacerating razor wire.A class for whom high-security silos of luxury apartments are rapidly sprouting along this stretch of the river, in what is becoming a place of $45 million penthouses equipped with personal panic rooms.But this 11-story cube, which currently stands in the middle of a postapocalyptic scene of mud and cranes, is in fact the makings of the new $1-billion embassy of the United States of America." data-hires="/uploads/image/attachment/1931/full_screen_42_Wainwright_2_bollard-hedge.jpg" data-id="lightbox-image-block-409" src="/uploads/image/attachment/1931/c4_42_Wainwright_2_bollard-hedge.jpg" / To the north, the site is bordered with an English yew hedge, which leads to meadowland planted with species native to North America (“analogous to the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” the architects reason). Secreted inside the foliage will be a line of steel and concrete bollards capable of stopping an eight-ton truck driving head-on at 40 miles per hour.If, by some miracle, a hostile vehicle does break through the hedge of steel, it will be confronted by a wall of seating at the other end of the meadow, along with two sharp changes of level, and then the great pond—a 100-foot expanse of water, behind which the embassy stands on a raised plinth, its defensive wall disguised by a gushing waterfall.One of the biggest sections of the show is made up of hostile vehicle mitigation devices disguised as street furniture, showing how several tons of concrete and steel can be variously hidden inside benches, planters, and other hefty lumps to further clutter the sidewalk.Visit any of the capital’s major sights today—from the pseudo-public spaces beneath the Shard and Walkie-Talkie skyscrapers, to Kings Cross Station and the Olympic site—and you’ll see clusters of these seats-on-steroids, the contemporary city’s equivalent of moats and ramparts, only cloaked in a costume of granite and foliage.Walking past the hoarding that rings the construction site today, little would you imagine the world of defensive measures that are being conjured behind the innocuous plywood fence.When the Philadelphia-based firm Kieran Timberlake unveiled its competition-winning design for the new embassy in 2010, the architects proudly declared that there would be “no fences and no walls.” It was an attempt to signal a departure from the introverted compounds being built elsewhere.

-billion embassy of the United States of America.

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