Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.
Helsinki, the cultural capital of Finland, will greet you with design at every turn and corner. The city has an impeccable presence of design thinking and innovation that makes it a sought-after destination for young professionals looking for an immersive experience of design culture.
For Finns, design is not just a material aesthetic – it is a state of mind. (And not surprisingly, Helsinki was named the World Design Capital in 2012). Helsinki is replete with striking art, craft, and architectural creations that are enough to prove the point. Concept stores, therefore, are no exception as the Finns are experimental by nature. Here, young and upcoming designers often share platforms with reputed creatives.
If you are a design enthusiast who is stoked by the sight of novel creations, the following concept stores should top your priority list!
Lokal was founded in 2012 by photographer Katja Hagelstam. It showcases the exemplary form of Finnish design and hosts art, craft, and design products made by independent Finnish designers. It curates exhibitions throughout the year, based on select themes and in a rotating manner. Lokal comprises a coffee shop that serves some delectable, locally roasted coffee – enhancing the mood and experience of the place.
Address: Annankatu 9, 00120 Helsinki
Contact: +358 44 9841467
Aarikka was born in 1954 when the then design student, Kaija Aarikka, was unable to find buttons that matched the clothes she designed. She started making her own wooden buttons – round, bold, and quirky – which soon expanded to wooden jewellery, silver jewellery and crafts like home decor items, toys, gift pieces and more. Their characteristic design language that focuses on beads, is iconic and unforgettable. A quirky Finnish design heritage that you must not miss out on!
Address: Pohjoisesplanadi 27, 00100 Helsinki
Contact: +358 44 4220204
Jatul is earthy, raw, and whimsical, escaping definition. The brand is more of an energy, a vibe, rather than a narrow description of products and locale. Jatul, founded in 2010 by Nina Jatul, has completed a decade of extraordinary design that focuses on local production and natural materials to create clothes and wooden jewellery made from Finnish birch wood. Their store is a homage to Nordic mysticism with a touch of surrealism.
Address: Annankatu 13, 00120 Helsinki
FINARTE Concept Store
FINARTE is a love story of the Finnish ‘rag rug’, traditionally made from scraps of fabric stitched together. Founded in the 1980s, FINARTE combines the old and the new in stunning designs and colour palettes, with fluid patterns and shapes highlighting Nordic sensibilities and contemporary design thinking in equal measure. FINARTE is one of Helsinki’s most reputed concept stores too. It offers a space of warmth and cosiness to all visitors and design lovers who would simply love to stroll through the store. And indulge in the beautiful pieces, their bold colours, and stunning composition of form.
Address: Fredrikinkatu 28, 00120 Helsinki
Tikau is an ethical, sustainable brand that upholds the artisanal heritage of India with a social vision to uplift the artisans. Tikau means ‘durable’ in Hindi and conveys the values of sustainability through design thinking and creativity. Do not forget to explore the comforting textures of handmade pieces created with locally available material, showcasing stunning craftwork like Kashmiri embroidery and bamboo creations. There are also kids and everyday-wear sections.
Unravel tip: Do not forget to check out their carpets, an example of exquisite craftsmanship and a perfect blend of Scandinavian brevity and Indian nuance!
Address: Korkeavuorenkatu 9, 00140 Helsinki
Contact: +358 44 717 7000
Amos Rex Museum Shop
The Amos Rex museum is one of Helsinki’s leading art museums that is housed in a functionalist building from the 1930s. Renovations have integrated the authentic 1930s architectural style with contemporary elements that make the museum an exciting spot for visits, public activities, exhibitions, entertainment, and many more activities.
The more recently set up Amos Rex museum shop provides a meaningful and attractive extension to the museum. It delightfully merges the cosy book corners and sofas (for that mid-day tranquil spot after exploration) with neon tubes that liven the ambience. The store offers a range of experiences that can be booked ahead
Casuarina brings the flavours of the Orient to its store space, then blends it with the chic, modern Finnish sensibilities. The brands showcased here tell stories of vintage furniture, through its one-of-a-kind pieces that will delight visitors with their simplicity and classical touch. The store also comprises tableware, bed linen, and other home decor items, all of which carry a gravity of design and aesthetic that will delight craft lovers.
Address: 00120, Fredrikinkatu 30, Helsinki
Contact: +358 9 68558580
BOX by Posti
BOX, a self-service store by Finland’s leading postal and logistics company, Posti, has taken the term ‘concept store’ to a whole new level. Though functional and not a traditional go-and-buy store, BOX is a must-visit for design junkies or the simply curious traveller willing to experience something new and exciting.
This store houses 600 parcel lockers, spacious fitting rooms, display areas for showcasing products to consumers (for online companies), and a coffee lounge for that relaxing cuppa – all accomplished through brilliant interior design and architecture, lively colours, and intuitive spatial flow. This is what makes BOX a new-age design marvel.
Visitors and users can navigate through the different activity areas quite easily, thanks to bright neon light markers. Talk about attention to detail!
Address: Keskuskatu 3, 00100 Helsinki