Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman
Ambassadörsresidenset i Berlin.
The Ambassador's residence in Berlin, Germany
The Ambassador's residence is located in the district of Dahlem in Berlin. The original villa was built in 1939–40 to a design by the German architect Wilhelm von Gumbertz-Rohnthal. The owner received the plot in recompense for a house that had to be demolished to make way for Adolf Hitler's grand boulevard scheme. The property was purchased by the Swedish State in 1964.
The Ambassador's residence occupies a historic site. Secret East-West talks were held here on several occasions in 1966 between Berlin's Mayor Willy Brandt and the Soviet Union's Ambassador in East Berlin. These discussions were brokered by Sweden's Consul General Sven Backlund and formed the first steps towards Brandt's famous "Ostpolitik".
With the decision to reinstate Berlin as the German capital, the building needed to be redeveloped as a suitable residence for the Ambassador. The original building underwent a complete redesign in 1998–99 and was ready to be occupied in summer 1999. The whole upper floor is new and the ground floor was extended to accommodate a new, larger dining room and an addition to the reception space in the form of a winter garden.
The upper floor houses the Ambassador's apartment with a living room, kitchen and bedroom, plus two other studio apartments with kitchen/kitchenette. The ground floor is entirely dedicated to receptions and, in addition to the dining room already mentioned, it boasts a restaurant kitchen, two libraries and two drawing rooms. All the reception rooms have direct access to the terrace, providing additional space for entertaining during warmer months. The basement is used for storage and as a wine cellar.
Garden by famous designer
The garden was originally created by Herta Hammerbacher, a big name in German landscape design, and has official listed status. The 4050 square metre plot has a lavish pool with fountain and a surface water treatment facility in the form of a salmon ladder.