Maybe we went in the wrong season, or I was still quite enchanted by our trip to Southern France, but somehow I was not as fond of Helsinki as I would have expected to be. It’s a nice enough city and the birthplace for excellent design, as well as architecture, but when people ask me how I liked it, I cannot help but say that it was just “o.k.”
There were two highlights, to our trip, though. The first was our dinner at Spis, a small and excellent restaurant, that serves a set menu of 4 or 6 locally sourced dishes that were truly flawless – try to book a table if you ever find yourself in Helsinki!
The second was our visit to the Aaltos’ the studio and house. If you are not familiar with the name, Alvar Aalto was one of Finlands best-known architects and designers – and a key figure in modern architecture and design. Together with his first and second wives, Aino and Elissa Aalto, he designed buildings, as well as furniture and design objects. Naturally, they did not only plan the houses themselves but filled their home and studio with their own designs, as well as other Modernist gems and all those old pieces of stationery they used to draft their plans.
I was in heaven as I just love snooping around the homes and work places of creative people. There was a short guided tour in both of the places that left plenty of time to roam and take pictures of all the details.
1. The Studio
2. The House
Can I move in?
I guess not, but fortunately, many of the designs by Alvar, Aino and Elissa Aalto are still available through their design shop Artek. These are some of the Aalto pieces that I put on my wish list after the trip to Helsinki: