House of Sweden
Washington Harbour in Georgetown
Karchem's Role: Owner's Representative
For: National Property Board of Sweden (Statens Fastighetsverk)
Size: 60,000 SF
Schedule: Construction Commencement 2004; Delivery 2006
The National Property Board, Statens Fastighetsverk, retained Karchem Properties to advise them on developing the House of Sweden. The 60,000 SF property is located on the Potomac River in Georgetown. It will serve as the new Embassy of Sweden and provide a conference center, corporate residential units and parking garage. The spectacular building was designed by Wingardh Arkitektkontor AB/NOD and received the enthusiastic approval of the Commission of Fine Arts.
Initially, Karchem Properties reviewed the preliminary project budget and schedule provided by the development joint venture of Lano International and Armada Hoffler. We advised the National Property Board ("NPB"), its broker and attorneys on structuring the lease amendment and developing the property. We continued to work with Armada Hoffler to finalize the project budget and schedule.
Karchem Properties prepared financial models based on three options: 1) lease the entire property; 2) purchase the entire property except for the residential component, or 3) purchase the entire property including the residential component. Working closely with NPB, its broker and attorneys, many potential structures were gradually reduced to the most favorable arrangement for NPB. Karchem Properties assists the NPB in implementing its decisions and monitors the design and construction of the property.
Karchem Properties advised the NPB in presenting the conceptual design to the Commission of Fine Arts and the Old Georgetown Board for approval. These approvals entailed working closely with the National Park Service, which controls the adjacent parklands and Potomac River.
Karchem Properties continues to advise the National Property Board during the completion of Construction Documents and throughout the construction phase. The Wingardh design makes the most of the unobstructed views of the Potomac River and Rock Creek Park. The design incorporates building materials and systems used in Sweden to showcase the country's resources.
As a reflection of Swedish governance and democratic ideals, the exterior skin of the building is to appear transparent, constructed almost entirely of glass. Looking through the building, the architectural columns, stone flooring, and wood panels will be visible, as will the view of the Potomac River and Rock Creek beyond. At night, the transparent skin will be illuminated from within.
In addition to typical function space, the new embassy will include 1 floor of conferencing space, 2 floors of embassy and exhibition space, top 2 floors of corporate residential units and a 1-level parking garage.