Sveriges ambassad i Helsingfors
Helsinki, Finland, Embassy of Sweden
The Embassy of Sweden in Helsinki sits on the Market Square with views of the sea. The property, which houses the Embassy chancery, the Ambassador's residence and staff accommodation, has a long history. The plot is documented in a city plan from the 1600s. For several centuries small timber houses with peat roofs occupied the site.
A Swedish Baroque mansion
The address of Pikk 28 in Tallinn has had associations with Sweden since the 17th century. When the Swedish National Board of Public Buildings was offered the "Rosen House", it was therefore not the first time the building had been in Swedish hands. A 60-year lease was signed between Sweden and Estonia and the fully refurbished Embassy of Sweden in Tallinn opened its doors in 1994. The property currently houses the Embassy chancery and the Ambassador's residence. The wings contain three small apartments for overnight accommodation.
Axel von Rosen built the mansion
In 1670–75, Axel von Rosen built a mansion on the plot inherited from his father. Axel von Rosen's father had in turn purchased the plot from the widow of the pastor for the local Swedish congregation. The building's designer is unknown. Since there were few architects at this time, it was common to let the developers design the buildings. The developer responsible for the Rosen House was Gert Fohrberg. The style is typical of the Swedish Age of Greatness, drawing architectural inspiration from the Netherlands and France. The building has a restrained Classical look, with the streetside façade featuring pilasters with Ionic capitals. It is topped with a steeply pitched tiled roof.
Brotherhood of the Black Heads as neighbours
Since the 17th century, the immediate neighbours have been the Brotherhood of the Black Heads. During construction, a dispute arose with the neighbours, who considered the mansion too tall. Having the façade facing the street also went against Estonian custom. When the most extensive renovations in the building's history were planned in the 1860s, the brotherhood once again objected. Despite resistance, the renovations were completed, practically erasing the cultural features that went before. The Black Heads remain neighbours to this day.
When the Swedish National Board of Public Buildings and then the National Property Board Sweden (SFV) refurbished the Embassy in 1992–94, the decision was made to retain the look of the façade from the 1862 renovation. An additional floor was added to the wings around the courtyard and the roof tiles were replaced. The attic was treated for a mould outbreak. When it came to the interiors, different rooms were decorated according to different epochs. The Embassy therefore contains rooms in a Baroque, Empire and Gustavian style. The refurbishment of the Embassy was overseen through an intensive collaboration between the Swedish and Estonian National Heritage Boards in partnership with the Swedish National Board of Public Buildings and later SFV.