In its proportions, materials and details, this formally and spatially abstract building design celebrates the singular and collective cultures of the five Scandinavian nations – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
We hoped to develop a unique identity that would celebrate both the differences and the shared experiences of the participating countries. Our intention was to provide a unique identity that would represent the mission and aspirations of the institution, to create a welcoming threshold to Scandinavian culture.
The fundamental spatial idea – loftlike floor plates, vertically linked by an identifiable core of circulation and services and unified by a singular façade – accommodates a variety of programs while simultaneously reinforcing spatial coherence.
The spatial configuration sponsored the design of a coherent façade that both reinforces the spatial clarity of the scheme and provides a unifying identity to the building. A screen wall of naturally-aged zinc panels, strip windows and Finnish spruce appears to float in front of a glass box, controlling natural light while advertising the colors, textures and unapologetic modern sensibility found within.
Rooted in the craft of building, the materials palette invokes the mastery of material, texture and detail characteristic of Scandinavian architecture. Each country’s participation is expressed through the use of indigenous materials, products and techniques, combined in the articulation of the programs and spaces that the five countries and the United States share.
New York, NY
165-seat Auditorium for Screenings, Music Performances and Symposia, Mixed-Use Reception and Gathering Space, Exhibition Galleries, Library, Children’s Learning Center, Conference Rooms, Seminar Rooms, Offices, Retail Shop
James S. Polshek
Judi Bauer, Lucy Ciletti, Robert Condon, Nicole Johnson, Bruce Nichol, John Zimmer
Feldt, Marna. "A House that's a Home" (Scandinavia Review, 2005 Fall)