The Foreign Service Journal - April 2014 - page 35

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
APRIL 2014
35
The Finnish embassy in Washington, D.C., is a green building that was ahead of its time.
Here is the story of this sustainability pioneer.
BY EM I L I A HONKASAAR I
FOCUS
M
any diplomatic missions
around the world are
concerned about energy
efficiency today, but what
does it mean for one to
“go green”? As the first
diplomatic mission in
Washington, D.C., to gain
the prestigious U.S. Green
Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design certification, in 2010, the Embassy of Finland prides itself
as a leader in the field of sustainability.
Taking its cue from a culture embedded in a love for the
wilderness, Finnish architecture has a history of simple design
that exists harmoniously with its natural surroundings. When
architects Mikko Heikkinen and Markku Komonen were design-
ing the new embassy building in the early 1990s, they chose to
draw on this tradition.
Emilia Honkasaari is the communications coordinator for the Embassy
of Finland in Washington, D.C.
Finns Take the LEED
INGREEN
EMBASSY DESIGN
Much of the architecture’s effectiveness derives from subtle
integration of the building and the landscape. Wrapped in a grid
of copper sunscreens (and seasonally wrapped in greenery), the
building instantly established a powerful and progressive pres-
ence for Finland in Washington, D.C., on its completion in 1994.
Two decades ago, issues of energy efficiency were not as
widely considered as they are today. However, by favoring local
GREENING EMBASSIES
Jussi Tiainen
1...,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34 36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,...76
Powered by FlippingBook