Following a six-month renovation, Finnish-design brand Artek announces the official opening of Savoy restaurant in Helsinki, originally designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto. Artek, in collaboration with the Alvar Aalto Foundation, worked with Ilse Crawford of Studioilse to complete the renovation and restoration. The project was commissioned by Harry Gullichsen, the managing director of the Ahlström company, and his wife Maire Gullichsen, who had just founded design house Artek together with Aino and Alvar Aalto. Today, the building, as well as the Savoy interior, is protected by the Helsinki City Museum.
Since its initial opening in 1937, various renovations and refurbishments had altered the original Aalto concept. While making the necessary updates, Studioilse updated the restaurant layout to reflect the original proportions of the interiors, sourcing information from archival imagery and the Aalto’s sketches. Studioilse also restored all of the original structures and joinery throughout the space.
Interiors play tribute to Alvar and Aino Aalto’s functional, human-centered design process, with a focus on comfortable furniture and high-quality materials. Rather than alter the original aesthetic, Studioilse refreshed the interiors for today. Iconic Artek pieces, such as the Chair 611, the Savoy Club Chair, and Golden Bell pendant light, were implemented into the original interior and remain to this day.
Photo: Courtesy of Restaurant Savoy