Following a six-month renovation, Artek has announced the official opening of Restaurant Savoy, a cultural landmark in Helsinki originally designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto. Artek, in collaboration with the Alvar Aalto Foundation, worked with Ilse Crawford to complete the renovation and restoration.
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.
"Our work takes its cue from the original 1937 Aalto interior, taking the restaurant back to its original while refreshing it for today," Crawford said. "Savoy needed a bit of repair and a bit of love, but it didn't need reinventing."
The interior of Restaurant Savoy is a testament 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. The updated interiors provide the perfect setting for Chef Helena Puolakka, whose mission is to create experiences that respect the history of the Savoy but feel inspiring and relevant in the 2020s.
Photography: Anton Sucksdorff © Restaurant Savoy