Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman
Trappa i ambassadkansliet i Berlin.
The Embassy of Sweden in Berlin, Germany
The Embassy of Sweden and the Finnish Embassy have both been rebuilt on the same site that they occupied in the early 20th century. The Embassy buildings were bombed in the Second World War, and so badly damaged that they were condemned after the war. Ruins of Sweden's building remained in place until 1954, when they were demolished. All that remained was a bunker that was once used for storage.
Sweden opened an Embassy in East Berlin in 1972, and in 1974 the old plot was sold to the City of Berlin, who fortunately did not build on it. After long negotiations, in 1995 Sweden and Finland were able to buy back their former plots and with the purchase of an additional plot nearby, ideas of a Nordic Embassy complex began to become a real possibility. The concept of having the Embassies of the five Nordic countries together on one site with a shared building, Felleshuset, is unique. An international architectural competition organised in 1995 was won by the Austrian architects Alfred Berger and Tiina Parkkinen. Their proposal united the Embassy complex with a broad copper band that runs around two sides of the triangular development.
With the Austrian design as the starting point, each country held a national competition for its own building. In Sweden, Gert Wingårdh provided the winning entry, a building over four floors, with all the visible surfaces clad in rich birch. The three façades of the Swedish Embassy use various materials. One side is a glass façade lined with a green band of copper louvres, the second is coarse white Gotland limestone and the third is highly polished black Emmaboda granite.