The Finnish Institute in London has commissioned and produced HEL YES!, a pop-up restaurant at this year's London Design Festival that showcases a remarkable array of Finnish furnishings. Designed by a team of ‘Hunter-Gatherer-Designers’ including including creative director Klaus Haapaniemi, designers Linda Bergroth and Mia Wallenius, and restauranteur/concept director Antto Melasniemi, the temporary space makes great use of wood to illustrate the close relationship between Finland and its forests. From elegantly curving wooden canopies to unfinished tree trunk stools, read on for a look inside!
The designers of HEL YES! have created a multi-faceted space that explores the roots of Finnish design. Waiters serve food in specially commissioned Heikki Salonen uniforms and visitors dine or ‘camp’ beneath wooden hut-like structures. The interior curated by Linda Bergroth relates to Nordic traditions. Design motifs taken from traditional yurts can be seen in the hut structures enveloping the tables, which create a wonderful camping-like experience for visitors.
Mia Wallenius collaborated with Klaus Haapaniemi to design an array of textiles inspired by nomadic culture that are showcased throughout the restaurant’s seating areas. Harri Koskinen collaborated with littala to design the glass and tableware. The chairs are designed by Artek, the Alvar Aalto co-founded design company, and additional seating is provided by unfinished tree stumps that line long communal bench tables.
Although contemporary design often focuses on industrial and commercial design, the heart of the Finnish aesthetic in HEL YES! is an appreciation of natural resources. The exhibition showcases the delicate nature of the relationship between the Finnish people and nature. Throughout the show humanity and nature are brought together in an experience of culture and social interaction. The exhibition will be open until the 30th of September.
All photos by Hannah-Clare Gordon, © Inhabitat