Here are Helsinki Design Week’s tips for design-lovers visiting Helsinki.
If you are visiting Helsinki soon, congratulations! Be sure not to miss these lovely design spots. See also our tips to Tallinn.
Museum of Finnish Architecture
The Museum of Finnish Architecture is one of the oldest museums in the world focusing on architecture. Founded in 1956, the museum mostly focuses on architecture after the 20th century. In addition to the exhibitions, the museum contains a large public library. It is located next to the Design Museum, so it’s easy to visit both.
The Design Museum researches, collects, stores and documents design, and displays it both in Finland and in touring exhibitions abroad. The museum offers lots of events for families and is a lovely spot to stop for a cup of coffee.
In the Finnjävel restaurant, interior and design play almost as important role as food. Behind the design is Ateljé Sotamaa’s designers Kivi and Tuuli Sotamaa, who are pioneers in the creative use of advanced digital technologies in design and manufacturing. They designed the decor, furniture and all the items. Chefs Henri Alén and Tommi Tuominen are one of the most respected chefs in the country, and the menu focuses on traditional Finnish cuisine. The restaurant opened in 2016 will be open for two years only, so be fast!
A comprehensive overview of Finnish design can also be obtained by visiting the Helsinki Second Hand store, which mainly purchases and sells old furniture, lighting fixtures and other home products.
Address: Korkeavuorenkatu 5
Open: Mon-Fri 11-18, Sat 11-16
Iittala & Arabia Design Centre
Iittala & Arabia Design Centre offers a diverse programme of activities for audiences with an interest in design. The centre is located in Arabia, Helsinki, where the history of the brands Iittala and Arabia has been made for more than 130 years, and they continue to be developed with passion.
Address: Hämeentie 135
Design Lab & Design Museum Arabia Tue, Thu, Fri 12-18, Wed 12-20, Sat-Sun 10-16
Store Mon-Fri 10-20, Sat-Sun 10-16
Cafe Mon-Fri 8-17, Sat 11-15
A combination of a store and a gallery, Lokal presents the top names of Finnish design and art. The exhibitions change every few weeks. The owner is photographer Katja Hagelstam, who has worked as a curator in various design projects. Lokal was opened in 2012 and has since became one of the top stores showcasing the new names of Finnish design.
Address: Annankatu 9
Open: Tue-Fri 11-18, Sat 11-16, Sun 12-16
Opened in 2016, Löyly sauna’s architecture became a phenomenon and was widely noticed in the press worldwide. The public sauna complex, which includes a restaurant, a wooden sauna, a smoke sauna and a large terrace, was designed by Avanto Architects’ Ville Hara and Anu Puustinen. The interior design was designed by Joanna Laajisto. The views towards the sea are unbelievable, so during the summer the terrace is crowded with people of all ages.
Fashion designer Samu Jussi Koski’s brand Samuji is one of the big names of Finnish fashion. The brand has two stores in Helsinki – the one in Erottaja sells women’s clothing and home interior products. The simple style and patterns have charmed its fans, and the chunky beanie has became an “IT” beanie in the streets of Helsinki.
Address: Erottajankatu 9 B
Open: Mon-Fri 11-19, Sat 11-17
Tislaamo Distillery Bar
The building the Helsinki Distilling Company occupies has seen use as a power plant for 30 years, and afterwards, as a soap factory, a meatball factory, a car wash, a wine cellar and an architect’s office. The distillery is located in the heart of Helsinki’s gastro-culture, the Abattoir (Teurastamo). True to its name, the Abattoir served as the city’s slaughterhouse from the 1930s to the 1990s.
TRE is a flagship store for Finnish design in downtown Helsinki and online that offers a wide range of design, furniture, lifestyle products, organic cosmetics and fashion. As a part of the store, Cargo Coffee + Vegetarian Food has a cafe focusing on ecological, healthy and high-quality food. TRE also hosts events.
Address: Mikonkatu 6
Open: Mon-Fri 11-19, Sat 11-18
Want to travel to Helsinki by ferry? Visit the wbsite of Tallink Silja, which is Helsinki Design Week’s partner in 2017.
Helsinki Design Weekly
is an online publication presenting timely phenomena in the field of design bolstered by top writers on the front lines.
Subscribe to the Helsinki Design Weekly newsletter
Helsinki Design Weekly is an online design publication presenting timely phenomena in the field of design and raises discussion about the future of the industry bolstered by top writers on the front lines.