Studio Joanna Laajisto and Made by Choice help create a fresh look for the Finnish platform.
There is a piece of Finland to be found in the Latin Quarter, just a stone’s throw from the Sorbonne, where Institut finlandais (designed by Juhani Pallasmaa) has been showcasing Finnish craft, gastronomy and contemporary art since its opening in 1990. Now the time has come to unveil a renewed space, sharing sustainable values across a collective design process, led by Pekka Littow from Littow architectes.
“For me, the starting point with the sustainable design is to create spaces that will last time. This can be seen in the choice of materials, such as massif wood, stone and metal. These materials age in a beautiful way” explains Joanna Laajisto from Studio Joanna Laajisto, responsible for the interior design.
“When thinking of the creation of both forms and palettes, it is important to create something classic enough that it will last time. Both of these aspects have played a major role when designing Institut finlandais.”
Nordic happiness is the ‘guiding star’ for Made by Choice, who manufactured the furniture for the Institut. Together, they have combined organic materials and textures such as ash tree, Finnish granite and wool to create a natural and calm ambience for a modern, minimalist design.
As Lasse Laine tells us: “Values are important for Made by Choice. Behind the things we embrace and value, one can find true Nordic Happiness. Nordic happiness is Made by Choice.“
“A product, which is truly appreciated, lasts longer, and it is taken better care of. Appreciation consists of high-quality handicraft, transparent production phase, well-made design and an authentic story behind the product. Our products are always designed for actual need and not only for market purposes. For example, the Airisto side table and bench were designed for a hotel project which is located in the Finnish archipelago. The table and the stool that can be found at Institut finlandais, were specifically designed for this context.”
“Wood is a renewable material. Our chairs are timeless and durable: our products resist the use of time in the same way as a new tree grows in nature. This is the right path towards a more sustainable world.”
The inaugural exhibition presented a commissioned artwork by Renata Jakowleff entitled ‘Reflection painting, gold’ and in the galerie-boutique, a collection of design and crafts curated by Katja Hagelstam from Lokal. The selection consists of creatives working with natural materials, craft skills and limited editions.
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