HistoryIn the late 1990's, the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) was deeply interested in opening a permanent cultural centre in the heart of New York City. The beginning of the 21st century marked a bright chapter in this organization's history. Approximately 13 million dollars were invested for the design and construction of a new centre that would be dedicated to Scandinavian culture. The history of the ASF can actually be traced to a Danish tycoon who thrived in NYC in the early 20th century. His original mission was to promote and expand Nordic ideas and customs throughout the United States of America. In the years leading to World War II, the Scandinavia House occupied a charming mansion that was owned by Grace Rainey Rogers, a wealthy woman who acquired a large private art collection in her time living in the Big Apple. However, the core history of the Scandinavia House essentially dates back to 2000.
Building Features and LayoutPolshek Partnership is the main architectural firm that designed the current building that's home to the Scandinavia House. Quite appropriate for Murray Hill, the International Style was chosen as the dominant theme of the property. In fact, this distinct style defines the facade of the nearby United Nations Headquarters that dominate the skyline of the eastern portion of Midtown Manhattan. The architects at Polshek Partnership were heavily influenced by the masterpiece that was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a world-renowned Brazilian architect. The first level of the Scandinavia House proudly displays flags of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. Upon entering, visitors have access to the F. Donald Kenney Reception Area that includes audio guides and other helpful resources. A perfect example of modernist interior design, the first floor offers unobstructed views of Park Avenue through transparent glass walls. The second level includes Volvo Hall, which hosts a wide range of cultural activities and other business-oriented meetings. This exhibit space is sponsored by the Volvo Group, which is arguably the most successful motor company in Scandinavia. The third floor is dominated by various art installations that have been made by emerging and well-established artists from Nordic countries. Some of these contemporary galleries are named Leif Hoegh and Gundersen. Guests who are interested in doing some research could head to the Halldor Laxness library on the fourth level. The fifth and sixth levels of the venue include small conference rooms for intimate gatherings. Hungry guests could grab a table at Smorgas Chef, a modern restaurant that serves delicate Scandinavian treats for brunch, lunch and dinner. This chic eatery takes pride in using all-natural ingredients from reliable family-owned farms in Upstate New York.
Visiting Scandinavia HouseThe Scandinavia House is a major cultural landmark in the Murray Hill neighbourhood of Manhattan. This historic district has a strong international atmosphere due to a proximity to the world headquarters of the United Nations. Located along the 4 and 6 lines of the New York City subway, the 33rd Street offers convenient access to the heart of this diverse district. Some commuter PATH trains also stop at this underground station that's interconnected by a vast network of long tunnels. Additional subway service is available at the 34th Street-Macy's station at Herald Square. You should also be able to take some Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) buses to Murray Hill. Additionally, plenty of taxis run along the busy Park Avenue and Madison Avenue.
Location: 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY, 10016
Click here to visit Scandinavia House official website.
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