Mi6, known as the The Vauxhall Cross SIS Building, is the official headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service. The mid 1990s designed building is located at the Albert Embankment on the bank of the River Thames. Opened by the Queen on its completion in 1994, the building is best viewed from the river and of course from your London Duck Tour! Designed by Terry Farrell, it is nicknamed within the intelligence community as “Legoland” and as “Babylon-on-Thames” due to its resemblance to an ancient Babylonian ziggurat.
The famous office of Mr Bond
All James Bond fans will recognise it instantly, as the Mi6 building has been seen in many feature films including GoldenEye (1995), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Sky Fall (2012) and, most recently in SPECTRE (2015). For those with a special interest, dare we say obsession, with all things James Bond, then we do recommend our James Bond Tour, which operates on the first Sunday of every month – and unlike his martini, you’ll be shaken and stirred! But back to Mi6…
The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)
Mi6 or the SiS is the British Intelligence Agency that supplies the British government with secret foreign intelligence, accountable to the Foreign Secretary. Mi6 is in fact a nickname given to the agency in World War 1, and was not formally acknowledged as existing until 1992. It works alongside the other intelligence agencies which include GCHQ and Mi5.
Gin, Women and Pleasure – pre- James Bond
In the 19th century the site it occupies was home to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens – an infamous site for drinking gin, dancing, revelry and well, pleasure (!). After that, the location housed several industrial buildings, including a glass factory, a vinegar works and a gin distillery – there’s a gin / martini theme here definitely!