Monday, May 19, 2008

Finnish Embassy


This Saturday I went with some friends to an exhibit at the Finnish Embassy entitled: MY PARADISE: 100 years of Finnish Architects' summer homes. The exhibit was really interesting but what really impressed me was the beautiful building. It was a perfect day which helped, but so does the location: located on Embassy Row in a nook surrounded by Rock Creek Park. The site is heavily planted and the exterior of the building has vines crawling over it.The exhibit space is directly below the front entrance and you descend down a beautiful curved wood and steel staircase. Cleverly, the lower two treads are granite -a sort of resting pad for the staircase.the stair


interior shots, looking up

My favorite project exhibited was Villa Oivala by Oiva Kallio from 1924. The summer house, sited on the edge of a lake, had a wall of french doors facing the lake as well as a completely open courtyard with all the rooms off of it. The 'front door' merely brought you into the open courtyard and not into the house. The wall of french doors could open letting breezes into the courtyard and opening the space to the view. Back views of the model showing the open french doors to the lake & view and the interior courtyard

a view of the front of the house (model) - very simple with the big doors opening onto the courtyard

12 comments:

pve design said...

I have great admiration for Finnish Design.
Simplicity and practicality are so pleasing to me.
Nothing like Marimekko designs to make me smile.

Be the change..... said...

There were many marimekko products throughout the space actually! Really cheerful and beautiful, PVE!

Pigtown-Design said...

DO you read JCB from DC? She just did a post about the FInnish Embassy last week.

http://www.janetblyberg.blogspot.com/

Be the change..... said...

Yes, I did see that! Small world we bloggers live in! No one told me not to take photographs -actually the guard down there told me I could take them! I hope she was right!!

Loda said...

I love the Finnish Embassy, in college my studio made a speical trip from Blacksburg just to visit. It really is a neat building and one thing I learned was that in Fineland, it is a law that every office has a window, we need that law here.

Be the change..... said...

A coworker of mine who also went to VA tech visited the embassy during school as well and had this interesting architectural tidbit. The main facade with the screen and the plants growing over it faces south -so that in the heat of the summer the screen becomes so hot it burns off the plants!! DOH!!

Carolina Eclectic said...

Hi, I just found you via Cote de Texas. Your blog looks great!

Be the change..... said...

Thanks CE! Yours too!! Can't wait to read through it all!

An Aesthete's Lament said...

The Finnish Embassy is the most marvelous building ... I also love the mirrored bits that allow the building's climbing plants help the architecture vaporize ... Whenever I walk past it I am inspired anew ... and have an overwhelming desire to move to Oslo ...

Be the change..... said...

I didn't even notice the mirrored pieces in the facade, AAL! They must keep them very clean! Are you local to dc, too?

An Aesthete's Lament said...

No, I'm not local to DC, although was born quite nearby. And I once lived on Scott Circle, eons ago, in an enormous but spectacularly bland building of blonde brick, across from the Tunisian embassy.

Be the change..... said...

Ahh -i know it well; just 2 short blocks from me, AAL! It's such a small world! Were you in 1500 mass ave? That building is pretty awful - AND HUGE!