Leo Riski is the cultural attaché of The Felleshus, a collaborative embassy whose name means ‘House for everyone’ in Danish, which is home to the five Nordic nations—Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. In a highly divisive world, this 21st century model of diplomacy is about putting aside cultural differences and working together for the betterment of all. This idea is reflected in the Felleshus’ architecture. Connected by more than 750 feet of copper bands, the building are arranged as their host countries are on the map, complete with three water basin that represent the connecting seas between the Nordic countries. The shuttered windows and graffiti covered walls of the Syrian embassy, located directly across the street, are a stark contrast to the Felleshus.
Leo Riski believes that this unique model allows for greater social and economic integration between the five nations. It is also allows five relatively small independent nations to exert greater influence over the European Union. They host hundreds of public events each year, making the Felleshus a nucleus of activity. As Riski points out, “Whether we save a penny or not, we have a bigger impact when we are together”.