• En del av taket i en av salongerna på residenset i London. Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman

    En del av taket i en av salongerna på residenset i London.

London, United Kingdom. Ambassador’s residence

The Swedish Ambassador's residence in London is located in an externally unassuming terrace on Portland Place, but the exterior conceals an 18th-century interior that is remarkably well preserved even by British standards.

Residence with well preserved 18th-century interiors

Portland Place was designed by brothers Robert and James Adam, two of the leading architects in England during the 18th century. This century saw London's population double and the city expanded in all directions. The landowner of Portland Place did not want the new development to obstruct the view, which resulted in the widest street in London. The building was constructed from 1776–80 and remodelled in the early 19th century by architect John Nash. The farmland to the north was transformed into Regent's Park and surrounded by terraces with rendered façades.

Inspiration from Italy

The ground floor and first floor have magnificent reception rooms. All the grand reception rooms have retained the elegant stucco decoration on the walls and ceilings that is so typical of the Adams brothers. They were inspired by frescoes documented by Robert Adam during research trips that included visits to Pompeii in Italy.

Swedish since the 1920s

The building has constantly been adapted to new needs. The garden was built on back in 1795. The property became Swedish in 1921 through a 999-year lease. In 1983, the Embassy moved to North Row and 27 Portland Place became solely the Ambassador's residence.

Swedish in English

Three staff apartments were created in the building from 1999–2000. The National Property Board Sweden also renovated the historic rooms by the Adams brothers and the Ambassador's private apartment. All the stucco work has been painstakingly repaired and painted. Apart from the historic rooms, the remodelling can be seen as an attempt to achieve a Swedish environment in an English building – with the help of English architects Hyett Salisbury Whitley, Adam Whitely, Johan Radice and Charles Addison. The windows, floors and furnishings introduce a clear Swedish element. The upper floors of the main building have expertly crafted and elegantly modern interiors that reflect the needs of our time, while the historic rooms still provide a stunning setting for public events.



Portland Place 27