Interiors & Architecture

Store concept and interiors for Finnish design house's flagship store in central Helsinki.

Marimekko is a Finnish design company famed for their bold use of prints in apparel and home decor. Following the appointment of a new Creative Director and CEO of the company, Pentagram has created a new concept for the brand's flagship store in central Helsinki. The store is one of Marimekko's 150 retail outlets and features the most diverse selection of their range.

The store is a physical signifier of the brand’s refreshed direction and reinforces their presence in Helsinki. The brief was to create a concept that would give the space more warmth and infuse it with a quirky sense of Nordic humour. To do this, Pentagram created a number of different atmospheres, each presenting a separate aspect to the Marimekko lifestyle.

The store is located in a challenging site that is a combination of three shops with a variety of floor and ceiling levels to accommodate. To create an order, Pentagram divided it into three distinct sections: fashion, classic clothing and homeware. Floor finishings are used to differentiate each zone: concrete tiles in fashion, carpet in accessories with cork in classic clothing and resin embedded with white marble chip in homeware.

The material palette has been kept simple and natural, with larch wood, birch plywood, stone, bronze and cork being used.

"The store architecture strongly reflects Finnish aesthetics and design traditions as well as the timeless and enduring values behind these, which increasingly appeal also to our international customers. We hope that our Helsinki flagship store will become a new kind of meeting place for people interested in beautiful everyday design," says Marimekko President Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko.

The store is now open and is located on Mikonkatu in Helsinki’s Galleria Esplanad mall. The design concept will gradually spread to other Marimekko stores in Finland and abroad as new stores are opened and existing ones are refurbished.

William Russell
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