U.S. Department of State, OBO, and local Finnish officials hosted the dedication ceremony for the new campus of the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland today. Located in the same 3-acre site since the 1930s in the Kaivopuisto District in downtown Helsinki, the $114 million project had Moore Ruble Yudell of Santa Monica, CA as design architect; PAGE of Arlington, VA as architect of record; and BL Harbert International LLC from Birmingham for construction.
Started in November 2011, the three-phase project consisted of renovating existing spaces and adding new facilities to enrich the campus. The transformation of the existing office annex into the new Innovation Center finished in January 2013 while completion of the new chancery in phase two happened this past February. If all continues to go well, the existing chancery and ambassador's residence will be renovated by this December.
Finnish cultural references in the new Embassy's aesthetics include the permanent art collection and the new chancery's use of white bricks -- a nod to modernist Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. As for sustainability, the new Innovation Center is also the first overseas U.S. diplomatic facility to receive LEED® Platinum certification. Natural ventilation, triple-glazed windows, thermal roof insulation, 100% LED and organic LED lighting, and the use of city-generated hot and cold water are only some of the multiple conservation strategies for water and energy and the reduction of operating costs.