Scandinavia House is the new permanent home for the American-Scandinavian Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting an educational and cultural exchange between the United States and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Their Park Avenue building also houses a children's learning center, gallery, café, gift stop, and administrative offices.
Traditionally, Scandinavian design is characterized by hand craftsmanship, utilitarianism, and unpretentious form so both the architect and environmental graphic designer favored organic shapes and natural materials for this project.
The design firm was responsible for a comprehensive environmental graphic and philanthropic recognition sign program, predominantly comprised of glass and stainless steel and echoing the lines of famed Finnish designer Alvar Aalto. The program involved the development of a consistent graphic design and materials vocabulary that was used for all informational, identification, directional, donor recognition, and code-related sign requirements. The generosity of major benefactors is celebrated in an extensive donor recognition display, arranged after a traditional Hardanger embroidery pattern; each donor level is identified in either gold leaf, silver leaf or bronze leaf.
"This environmental signage system is truly reflective of a strong marriage between architecture and graphic design. Consistent with the design aesthetic of Scandinavian design and its practitioners – Aalto, Saarinen, and Jacobsen – the resulting design is one of impeccable craftsmanship and utilitarianism. The vertical outdoor signage reiterates the building's narrow footprint, a good example of form attending to function."
Douglas Morris (Principal in Charge), L. Richard Poulin
Design Communications Ltd.