Finnish Embassy, Tokyo

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The most important is to create an image of Finland. The Embassy must represent Finland in the right way.

~ Rainer Mahlamäki

They obviously want Finland to appear stylish, sophisticated, pretty ill, and translucent…

I feel as if Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd, the designers of the new Finnish Embassy in Tokyo, are confused – because this thing right here is way too sexy to be an embassy. An art gallery, perhaps? Boutique retail? A really bougie school of some sort? Whatever – how can it be an embassy without more gates, some guys out front with M-16s, and some turrets on the roof? C’mon people – don’t you know that ‘the terrorists’ are everywhere, and they hate architecture?

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My general foolishness / ignorance aside – I’m a little bit in love. And without getting into why I ‘like it’ [you can see the images - I'm sure at least some of you are feelin' me], what’s really cool is that the project actually looks like something you’d see proposed / built in Japan – a sleek, slightly minimalist, monochromatic design [so of course ninjas love it]. What I’m wondering is – what about it is Finnish, aside from the designers? Should an embassy use architecture to convey nationalism – or should it blend with a local vernacular, and then represent it’s country of origin through content?

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Unfortunately, the global economic shitstorm [I believe that's a technical term] has the project on hold – but the Finnish Government is still planning on building the new embassy, and is considering working with the Japanese private sector in an attempt to save some cash.

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.: Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd ->

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