Feelment resonates in the spaces of Little Finlandia

Iina Huikari
Minutes to read 4
Jan 26, 2024 2:23:23 PM

Rising on the shores of Töölönlahti Bay, Little Finlandia has assumed the role of a cultural event center akin to its sibling, the Finlandia Hall. Co-designed in collaboration with Aalto University, the building is a tribute to Finnish nature. Crafted from wooden elements, Little Finlandia is a splendid addition to the urban space of Töölönlahti, nestled between the literary haven Oodi and its larger sibling, the Finlandia Hall.

To ensure that the ambiance of Little Finlandia isn't solely reliant on the elegance of the Finlandia Hall, several carefully chosen elements have been incorporated into the design. That's why, in creating the musical environment of Little Finlandia, we decided to leverage Feelment's extensive music selection. But how do playlists that adapt to the brand's style enhance the customer experience? We delved into this matter using all our senses.

Nature merges with the space

Stepping into the interior of Little Finlandia's wooden structure evokes "Nocturne" – Eino Leino's interpretation of the beauty of Finnish nature. The pine trees in the lobby rise robustly towards the ceiling, as if whispering the opening lines of the poem: "The song of the corn bunting in my ears, above the ears of the rye, the full moon." Nature, light, and timelessness engage in a harmonious conversation.

Designed in collaboration with the Aalto University School of Architecture, Little Finlandia draws inspiration from the Finnish pine forest. All 95 pine trees in the building were carefully selected by the team led by architect Jaakko Torvinen from a forest in Loviisa. Behind this compelling ensemble lies meticulous planning, considering Little Finlandia's personality or brand image in every phase.

Supporting a timeless, forward-looking atmosphere are ecological and recyclable materials. Innovation blends with natural materials, contributing to the creation of a landscape. "The space is made as natural as possible, and the materials have been treated as minimally as possible," Jaakko Torvinen explains. The architect's favorite spot in the building is the corner of Finlandia Café&Wine, where a pine tree placed within the space seems to engage in a dialogue with the nature of Töölönlahti Bay.

Background music completes the experience.

In addition to the precise location of each pine, the design has also required attention to the musical environment of the space. To meet the needs of customers in the most comprehensive way possible, various sound zones and landscapes have been created inside the building. Playlists have been selected to adapt to diverse space usage and different times of the day, simultaneously supporting the style of Little Finlandia.

The musical environment in the lobby is crafted to respect a highly diverse clientele and purpose, as the event space itself accommodates everything from meetings to live concerts. By changing the playlist, the background music's melodies can be tailored to serve the current audience. The music environment in the café is designed to support the atmosphere according to the time of day; tranquil tunes in the morning wake you up for a new day, during lunch breaks, thoughts are carried away from work, and in the afternoons, you can relax in an After Work ambiance.

Finlandia Café&Wine

- a meeting place for urbanites

The maritime views of Töölönlahti strive to enter through floor-to-ceiling windows at Little Finlandia. The Café&Wine located at the end of Little Finlandia invites passersby to visit and pause in the moment. The café environment exudes a "come as you are" atmosphere. It offers an experiential moment of relaxation with good food and drink, welcoming every customer to unwind – from the passerby on a jog to the office worker.

Like the nature surrounding Little Finlandia, Café&Wine also lives through the seasons. The varied offerings and organic products are visible not only in café delicacies but also in lunch and After Work servings. "The kitchen is the heart of the house," says Head Chef Mika Jokela when talking about the taste experiences offered at Little Finlandia. The love for Finnish nature is evident and tasted, and the café's lunch menu has rightfully been named one of the best in the city. During the summer season, you can also relax on Helsinki's longest terrace.

Experiences for all the senses 

The music evenings, rotating art exhibitions, and the culinary delights offered by the café at Little Finlandia make the experience truly unique. The feeling is strengthened by familiar elements from the Finnish nature, such as the open spaces reminiscent of Vaara-Suomi, authentic pine pillars, and soft color tones. A touch of freshness is brought by Finnish classic design products, such as Marimekko textiles.

Sitting in an Artek Aalto chair brought from the Finlandia Hall, holding a glass of Alvar's namesake sparkling wine, the view of Töölönlahti in front can undoubtedly be seen more beautiful than ever. The Finnish natural mysticism described in Eino Leino's poem is palpable; time stands still, and the mind quiets. Just like the atmospheric touch that Nocturne gains from Vesa-Matti Loiri's interpretation, the beauty of Little Finlandia is complemented by carefully curated background music. Melodies that blend into the space to fill the void that silence brings. So, with pride, the Finlandia Hall can pass its responsibilities to this little sibling for the next few years.

Corner table in the café. In the background, large windows and the landscape of early spring.
Finlandia Café&Wine - café's corner table is architect Jaakko Torvinen's favorite spot in Little Finlandia.