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Finnish Embassy
VIIVA arkkitehtuuri Oy

May 02, 2009 /

Berlin, Germany

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Photo: Åke E:son Lindman

The Finnish Embassy is located on the southern part of the embassy ensemble. The design refers to Kannel (a traditional five-stringed Finnish harp).

The competition jury referred to Kannel as a simple building, consisting of a single entity, taking its place in the complex with unaffected confidence.

Larch wood louvers, in room-high steel frames, create a uniform end of the building in front of the glass facade. Partly opened, they play with the simplicity of the cubic building, and enable a free view into and out of the building.

Some of the louvers are equipped with hydraulic pumps with which they are electrically maneuvered from the interior. The pumps are located between the Venetian blinds and the glazing and thus the wooden facades continue without interruptions. All wooden elements are manually openable from exterior for the maintenance of the glass facade.

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Photo courtesy VIIVA arkkitehtuuri Oy
The strict ground organization, around an atrium with a staircase up to the ambassador in the uppermost floor, and the reduced employment of materials, concrete, steel, aluminum and glass, are very well complemented by the use of light wood louvers inside.

The construction is entirely made of cast-in-situ concrete. All concrete parts are cast by using the film plywood or steel moulds. The light inner walls separating the offices are covered with waxed birch plywood panels. The plywood cupboards of the office rooms are integrated into the walls. The fluid of the space benefits from the walls between the offices and corridors which are glazed from floor to ceiling. The glass surfaces are punctuated with the plain metal doors coated with aluminum sheets.

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Photo: Åke E:son Lindman
finnish_embassy_4.jpg
Photo courtesy VIIVA arkkitehtuuri Oy
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Photo courtesy VIIVA arkkitehtuuri Oy
The curved volume of the third floor conference room is clad with plywood both inside and out. The use of the bend plywood is reminiscent of the Finnish craftsmanship.

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Photo courtesy VIIVA arkkitehtuuri Oy
The inner courtyard is covered with a horizontal timber lattice work, a counter part to the vertical blinds of the facades. A Sorbus Aucuparia tree is planted in the middle of the courtyard - a holy tree in traditional old Finnish beliefs.

The Finnish Embassy houses the offices of the chancellery, two conference rooms and a small library. The sauna section is located on the ground floor next to the pool which traverses the embassy center.

Facts about Finnish Embassy

Total Area:

1,860 m2

Architects:
VIIVA arkkitehtuuri Oy

Project Team:

Rauno Lehtinen
Pekka Maki
Toni Peltola

Local architect and site supervision:

Pysall Ruge Architekten 

Client:

Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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