- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 09 Jan 2021
The Secret Intelligence Services (SIS) Building, more commonly known as the MI6 Building, is the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service, situated on the Albert Embankment section of the River Thames next to Vauxhall Bridge. The building was completed and inaugurated in 1994 and has come to be recognised as one of London's most distinctive structures (the irony of which, for a secret organisation, has been widely commented on).
The building's architect was Terry Farrell, whose Mayan and Aztec temple design translated into a post-modern style was met with criticism and nicknames such as the 'Vauxhall Trollop' and 'Babylon-on-Thames'.
 Design and construction
Security issues prompted the need for a new headquarters for MI6 who had previously occupied an office block near Waterloo Station. In 1983, the Albert Embankment site was purchased by the property developers Regalian Properties plc, who in 1987 approached the Government to assess their interest in such a building being developed for their purposes.
The building incorporates modern protection measures, including bomb blast protection, emergency back-up systems, and triple-glazed windows that make use of 25 different types of glass. The ancient temple style of the exterior was an effect created by building up numerous layered blocks, laid out to create 60 separate roof areas.
The building was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in July 1994. It has since featured prominently in several recent films of the James Bond franchise, including 'The World Is Not Enough' in 1999 when part of the building appeared to be blown up in a terrorist attack and 'Spectre' in 2015 in which it was portrayed as a ruin awaiting demolition.
- Address: 85 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, Lambeth
- Completed: 1994
- Architect: Terry Farrell and Partners
- Developer: Regalian Properties plc
- Main contractor: John Laing plc
- Owner: HM Government
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 10 Downing Street.
- 33 Thomas Street, New York.
- British Embassies: Their diplomatic and architectural history.
- Building of the week series.
- Buildings in film.
- City Hall, London.
- Concept architectural design.
- El Castillo.
- Farrell Review.
- Leadenhall building.
- Palace of Westminster.
- Tallest buildings in the world.
- The Gherkin.
- The Pentagon.
- The Shard.
- US Air Force CCLD, Colorado.
- US Embassy hotel plans.
Featured articles and news
BSRIA explores US share of 2020 VRF market.
New fire safety requirement comes into force.
Different types of bridges are meant to move.
A logical approach to handling the internal voice of self doubt.
First fashionable in the US, decorative metal has become globally desirable.
Helping communities preserve and enhance historic environments.
Creating comfortable climates despite extreme temperatures.
Study examines how adjustable arrangements can succeed.
Government announces plans to improve accessibility.
Resource addresses pandemic-related NEC4 contract issues.
Incorporating EDI into the provision of fair access.
Government announces global innovation strategy.