Sveriges ambassadörsresidens i Oslo.
The Swedish Embassy and the Ambassador’s residence, Oslo, Norway
The site in Oslo on which the Embassy of Sweden now stands was purchased in 1952. In a curious coincidence, the wife of the owner was the daughter of Adolf Holter, who sold the Swedish Ambassador's residence to the Swedish State in 1906. The Embassy building was constructed in 1957 around a concrete structural frame. The façades are clad in red brick and the roof is tiled in Norwegian slate.
Much written-about appearance
The Embassy of Sweden in Oslo was much written about when it opened on 17 September 1957. The Norwegian architect Helge Abrahamsen, who wrote an article in the national newspaper Morgonbladet on 21 September 1957, was not particularly impressed. The building was likened to a rural barn, neither beautiful nor appropriately positioned. The exterior attracted most criticism, while the interiors and room layout were described as practical and tasteful.
Due to demands for more space and changing operational needs, an extensive redesign of the Embassy was carried out in 1991–92. The work was largely contained within the existing outer walls, but by lowering the floor in the basement, removing the garage and totally reworking the floor plan, it was possible to gain almost 200 square metres of additional office space.
Dating from the 18th century
The residence in Oslo was the third property ever to be purchased by the Swedish State for the purposes of foreign representation. The first was in Istanbul in 1757 and the second was in Madrid in 1904. The property in Oslo was purchased in 1906, the year after the dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway. It dates back to the 18th century, when it was part of a country estate just outside the city limits. Today, the property's neighbours are the Royal Palace and its large park. The mission in Oslo became a full Embassy in 1947.
In 1872–73 the then owner, merchant Adolph Martin Holter, built a large and elegant rectangular building on two floors with a small basement. The building's walls and beams were brick and wood, and the façades were rendered in a style that took its cue from Classicism.
Moving the Embassy
On its purchase in 1906, the new acquisition was widely renovated and extended. An extra floor was built to house chancery offices and guest rooms. Then extensions were added for the kitchen, serving room, entrance hall and veranda. The façades were re-rendered in a style typical of Swedish architecture in the early 20th century. The chancery remained in the building until 1945, when new premises were leased nearby. The vacated offices were subsequently converted into guest rooms and staff accommodation, amongst other things. Somewhat later, a guardhouse was also constructed in the same style as the main building.