Thursday, May 26, 2005


Britain's spooks have a new haunt. This spring, the 4,000 spies, cryptographers, and other intelligence agents of the Government Communications Headquarters (the agency credited with cracking the Nazi's Enigma code) move into a new 1.1 million-square-foot building in Cheltenham, 88 miles northwest of London. The Donut, as it's being called, puts divisions once housed in 50 different buildings under one roof. Because of fears of terrorism, that roof - and the rest of the $634 million building - is pretty darn tough. "The building's enclosed shape derives from ancient forts, where the inner space is secure and the outer wall is for defense," says architect Christopher Johnson, who headed up the project for his firm, Gensler.