Finnish embassy and residence of the ambassador

Riga, Latvia
Year of completion: 1996
Gross floor area: 2,876 sqm, refurbishment

In addition to the old town, which dates back to the Middle Ages, Riga is famous for its boulevards and several buildings in Art Nouveau style. In latter half of the 19th century the ring surrounding the old town was transformed into a new area full of broad avenues and parks, which is known as "the Boulevard". The Finnish Embassy is situated in this area, at Kalpaka Bulevardi 1. Designed by the architect R. Pflug, the building was completed in 1873-74 as the private residence of a merchant.

The building was still in a rather good condition. Its original exterior had been preserved fairly well, except for the windows, the porch that had been destroyed, and the courtyard arrangements. Of the original interiors, however, only traces are found in some of the rooms.

The aim was to restore the original exterior architecture of the building as closely as possible. The new windows follow the original style and the color scheme of the elevation reflects the blue and green of the original. The porch has been reconstructed with the help of old photographs. Also the original room arrangement of the interiors was restored thus reviving some of the old glory of the building.

Residence of the Finnish ambassador

Vilna, Lithuania
Year of completion: 1995
Gross floor area: 910 sqm (refurbishment), 115 sqm (extension)

The Finnish ambassador’s residence is located on the fringes of the old town in a park-like area at Kalinausko 15. The house was originally built as a private residence in 1911. Both the interior and the exterior of the building were in a poor condition and required extensive renovation. The original arrangement of the rooms had been preserved fairly well, but the interiors were almost totally destroyed. The outhouse was also in a poor condition and, as it could not satisfy the needs of the new residence, it was replaced with a new building. Though verdant, the gardens had run wild.

The idea was to restore the two main facades as close to their original appearance as possible. The new outbuilding houses the garages, storage space and technical rooms. The sauna and the adjoining room with a fireplace are located in the basement of the residence. The ground floor houses the reception rooms, and the first floor the ambassador’s private residence. The aim was to give the basement a modern expression in accordance with the original atmosphere of the building. The internal stairs leading to the basement from the ground floor are a modern construction, whose material and light details of glass and steel connect various periods. The porch of the main facade on the ground floor extends the reception rooms out to the garden, but, if necessary, it can also be used as the entrance to the reception room.

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