Highly commended

Toni Peltola, Rauno Lentinen, Pekka Mäki

The Finnish Embassy


December 2000

The Finnish Embassy in Berlin is in the new Scandinavian compound on the edge of the Tiergarten, where it shares space with the legations of the other four Nordic countries. The oxidized copper wall of the whole may be controversial is it a barricade or a statement of dignified reticence? But the quality of the buildings within the undulating green perimeter is undoubted.
The jury was impressed by the reticence and dignity of the prismatic building, in which a glass-clad volume is layered within an outer screen of larch slats: a facade strategy which both acts as climate modifier, and allows the building to speak of its inner life at night, when its activities can be inferred from idiosyncratic light patterns. The noble progression of spaces from the entrance to the terrace with its sacred rowan tree, and its view out through the copper wall over the Tiergarten is particularly impressive. Much has been achieved with great economy of means. Light, always important in modern Finnish architecture, is controlled with great subtlety, as it filters through the slats of the office areas and through their translucent walls down to the entrance hall. As the architects say, the embassy is a combination of simplicity, clarity and modesty, which gives it a truly Finnish identity. The jury was impressed by the fact that the government had the bravery to give such a prestigious and nationally important job to a young team of architects after an open competition.

Contact: Toni Peltola
Tel: 1
Fax: 6