Finnish Embassy

by | 21. Aug 2012

Feature | Government

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.


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.


Photo: Åke E:son Lindman


Photo courtesy VIIVA arkkitehtuuri Oy


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.


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.


CITY Berlin
ARCHITECT Pysall Ruge Architekten