Sweedish Lantern

The 85,000-square-foot House of Sweden (above) in Washington, D.C., which architect Gert Wingårdh intended as a metaphor for the Swedish landscape, with its plentiful water, light, and blond wood.

The subtle wood-grain pattern of the glass in the building's balconies (left) can look warm or cool, depending on the light level. To achieve the wood-grain effect, Scandinavian Glass Systems printed an enlarged maple pattern on special digital film, placed the film between tempered glass panes, and baked the assembly at a high temperature-a technique the company had used once before, in collaboration with a Korean artist.

A section through the south façade (left) shows the balconies' wood grain- laminated glass topped by railings with embedded fluorescent lighting, as well as the Resopal panels that offer weather resistance for the façade.

The perforated lobby ceiling (left) is Wingårdh's experiment with light and shadow. Light fixtures mounted above the maple-veneer panels, with a thin fabric scrim in between, make the irregular holes in the ceiling glow from within.

Sitting near the confluence of Rock Creek and the Potomac River (below left), the House of Sweden is susceptible to flooding on the second-floor lobby level, the conference level below, and in the parking area (see section, below right). Architects from VOA countered by using cable tie-downs to anchor the building to bedrock and creating jambs for incorporating Presray Stop Logs to build a temporary flood wall.

Sitting near the confluence of Rock Creek and the Potomac River (below left), the House of Sweden is susceptible to flooding on the second-floor lobby level, the conference level below, and in the parking area (see section, below right). Architects from VOA countered by using cable tie-downs to anchor the building to bedrock and creating jambs for incorporating Presray Stop Logs to build a temporary flood wall.

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