The British Embassy in Rome was designed by Sir Basil Spence which replaced a building that had been severely damaged in a terrorist attack in 1946. The building was inaugurated in September 1968 while the chancery was officially opened in September 1971.
The Embassy is a two-storey, square plan building, supported on pilotti (pillars) and built around a courtyard. The ceremonial approach is from Via XX Settembre. The entrance walkway runs above the main pool and continues beneath the chancery building to the central courtyard and main staircase.
The site and the surrounding architecture played a key role in the design of the building. The site, next to Michelangelo’s Porta Pia within the Aurelian Wall, was scheduled as private park area. Spence’s decision to raise the building on pilotti (pillars) was taken so that it did not obscure the gardens.