Bush House is a building between Aldwych and The Strand in London at the southern end of Kingsway. The BBC's World Service department occupies four of the five wings, though the BBC staff will soon be moving. The fifth, south-west wing, is used by HM Revenue & Customs. Sections of the building were completed and opened over a period of 13 years:
This quintessentially British building was commissioned, designed and originally owned by American individuals and companies. Irving T. Bush gained approval for his plans for the building in 1919, which was planned as a major new trade centre and designed by American architect Harvey Wiley Corbett. The construction was undertaken by John Mowlem & Co.
The building's opening ceremony was performed by Lord Balfour on July 4, 1925 - America's Independence Day. It included the unveiling of two statues at the entrance made by American artist Malvina Hoffman. The statues symbolise Anglo-American friendship and the building bears the inscription ‘Dedicated to the friendship of English-speaking peoples’. Built from Portland stone, Bush House was in 1929 declared the "most expensive building in the world", having cost around £2,000,000 ($10,000,000).
The BBC's lease with Kato Kagaku (the Japanese company that owns the building) expires in 2010. The BBC plans to move World Service to Broadcasting House following its ongoing expansion and renovation programme, known as the W1 Project. There have been renewed rumours that neighbouring London School of Economics may purchase Bush House to expand its campus.