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Inside the Most Environmentally Friendly Embassy in Washington

The Embassy of Finland isn't just energy-efficient—it's gorgeous.

All photographs courtesy of the Embassy of Finland.

The Embassy of Finland, near the Naval Observatory on Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, just became the first LEED Platinum-certified embassy in the US. It joins the United States’ diplomatic mission in Helsinki as the only two LEED Platinum embassies worldwide.

The Finnish Embassy earned a LEED Gold certification in 2010 for its focus on sustainable, energy-efficient practices, including encouraging staff to walk, bike, or drive hybrid cars to work. When the time came to renew that certification, the embassy opted instead to strive for the highest level of environmental friendliness through a number of changes, such as banning plastic plates and utensils at receptions, composting yard debris, only purchasing new furniture that’s biodegradable, and supplying bikes for employees to use instead of cabs during work hours.

We want to thank Finland for being such a considerate neighbor, and for giving us an excuse to ogle these photos of its embassy’s gorgeous, super-modern interior.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a possible wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.