The new sleek Embassy building at 12 Darwin Avenue, representing the best of contemporary Finnish architectural traditions the Ilmarinen, was officially opened in February 2002. It still attracts wide interest around Australia and has been praised as an architectural masterpiece. The building symbolises modern day Finland: its openness, high technology and love of nature.
An open architectural competition for the Embassy building was held in 1997. Hirvonen-Huttunen Architects were chosen the winner. Vesa Huttunen drew his inspiration for the building from the armoured coastal vessel Ilmarinen of the wartime Finnish Navy. Thus, the Embassy building carrying the same name resembles a ship. The name Ilmarinen is originally the name of the blacksmith hero of the Finnish national epic Kalevala. Natural grasses have been planted in the area surrounding the building in tribute to Australian nature. The facade of the chancery building is made wholly of glass. The other basic materials of the building are steel, concrete and wood from South Eastern Australia.
The building houses the Chancery of the Embassy and - as of 2015 - also the chancery of the Embassy of Estonia. Read Steve Evans's article published in the Canberra Times to learn just how geographical neighbours became the first diplomatic housemates in Australia.
Tour the Embassy
Read enough and want to step inside this architectural marvel? Well, you're in luck, the Embassy hosts an open tour once a month. The tour takes approximately 30 minutes. You can register for the tour online. You will receive an email confirmation containing a link to cancel or reschedule your booking in the event you wish to do so.
Please note, tour numbers are limited therefore, we ask that all interested participants register individually. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.