Welcome to the House Of Sweden—a place not just for the Embassy of Sweden, but also the Embassy of Iceland as well as an office space for several other companies (for example, Volvo's DC offices are in here too). But what we really care about is the architecture. The building took two years to build and its design was the winning entry in a competition that asked for architects to come up with something that represented the Swedish ideals of openness, transparency, and democracy. The floor to ceiling glass walls, the floorplans that allow everyone to have their own office, and the fact that it is open to the public on weekends are just some of the ways the building achieves this goal.
Designed by Gert Wingårdhs and Tomas Hansen it was completed in 2006, but it took over ten years to get this land under Swedish ownership. The site used to house boat sheds but the owner of that precious piece of waterfront property happened to have a Swedish wife and she suggested that the site is where Sweden should have their embassy. It took years, and a few administrations, to make it happen. But once it did the building became a huge success. To date they've hosted over eighty musical performances, plenty more art exhibitions, and allowed corporate clients to rent their events space even if they have nothing to do with Sweden (or Iceland or Volvo, for that matter). Click through the gallery where we explain the different architectural decisions as well as show you some places that aren't usually open to the public.
All photos by Dakota Fine