New U.S. Chancery and Campus Renovation, Helsinki

U.S. Department of State

Helsinki, Finland

The campus of the U.S. Embassy compound in Helsinki is composed of three buildings, each with a unique architectural style. The original chancery is a Georgian style brick building constructed in the 1930’s. Adjacent to it is an office building, originally constructed as an apartment building in 1915 and converted for embassy use after World War II. The third building is the very modern, new chancery that offers dramatic views of the Gulf of Finland.

The one hundred year-old former apartment building was transformed into the “Innovation Center,” an energy efficient and functional office space, which earned LEED Platinum certification, the first overseas U.S. facility to earn that distinction. The climate, which ranges from an average -10 degrees in the winter to a high of 78 degrees in the summer, presented challenges for the engineering team. Mason & Hanger's Building Science Studio modeled each window in the Innovation Center to open and close both independently and proportionally based on the indoor temperature, the outdoor temperature, and the wind speed. The model was based on minute-by-minute data gathered over the course of an entire year.

Design Architect: Moore Ruble Yudell
Architect of Record: Page
Contractor: BL Harbert International