Artek has moved its headquarters to new premises in central Helsinki, situated in an elegant 19th Century apartment building at Mannerheimintie 12 B, a short stroll from the Artek Store. The interior was conceived as a working showroom where architects and dealers can bring clients to experience Artek and Vitra furniture. Inside, London-based practice SevilPeach has designed an open environment that inspires a new way of working.

Spread across 470 square metres, the new space puts people first. In the current digitalised age, “nothing beats face-to-face encounters… Important is how people behave in these spaces”, explains SevilPeach. Conceived in that spirit, the new headquarters empowers users to work in various ways depending on their individual tasks and needs, remaining flexible and human-centred.

The interior comprises a series of small rooms, reached via long, dark internal corridors with no visual connections to the outside. The brief called for a space that would serve as Artek’s headquarter, while also acting as a ‘working showroom’. Vitra’s role as a parent company and its competence in office furniture was to be demonstrated by combining both brands harmoniously and functionally.

The new environment, therefore, had to achieve multiple goals: convey ‘Artek’s Spirit’ through planning and use of materials, create a democratic environment with maximum daylight as well as showcase the right balance between Artek and Vitra.

The concept for the work environment is welcoming and friendly with a collage of furniture from both brands. While both companies have a strong DNA, their products effortlessly merge to create a harmonious contemporary interior.

The formal meeting room is wrapped with curtains that create a soft, embracing atmosphere while concealing presentation walls and providing good acoustics. Visitors are drawn to the views out onto the historic city centre. Materials and details used for the purpose-made kitchen counter – lino fronts, birch handles and a tiled countertop are a subtle homage to Artek’s heritage and craftsmanship.

Linear Belux lights, suspended slightly below the exposed HVAC installations, create a bright yet restrained illumination. They are accompanied by a second light layer of decorative Artek light fittings which add a soft and homely ambience to specific areas.

Pieces from Artek’s art collection are displayed throughout the space. The extensive book collection is housed in the central library, allowing employees as well as visitors to browse through decades of architecture, design and art.

 

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[Photography by Tuomas Uusheimo Photography.]

 

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