After decades of dreaming but losing complicated issues with Washington’s zoning boards, neighborhood councils and its own National Property Board to build on Embassy Row and then, on a skinny piece of land between Thompson’s Boat House and Washington Harbour, Sweden has finally won. [See House of Sweden’s Saga.] This spectacular showcase on the Potomac was well worth the wait.
Although current Swedish Ambassador Gunnar Lund oversaw the financing for the House of Sweden as the Swedish Cabinet Member with the responsibility for the international economic and financial affairs, he was delighted when he actually saw the finished product.
“It feels familiar but it does impress me; I am still surprised and pleased that with so much glass and stone, it is not cold but inviting, with the wood so dominant that there’s a warm glow,” said Ambassador Lund. This building, which houses the chancery and private offices (which you could rent along with Volvo and Saab), cost a half billion Swedish crowns, or approximately $80 million, making it Sweden’s most expensive chancery and its biggest bilateral mission.