The Ministry of European Affairs and Foreign Trade approached us in the hope of reviving its workspaces, which were located in the historic Maritime Barracks in Katajanokka, Helsinki, designed by Carl Ludvig Engel. We proposed to transform the 70-meter-long corridor space into an exhibition space in honor of the Helsinki World Design Capital 2012 anniversary year. The 12 old arches fit well into the presentation of Finnish design, and their colors were borrowed from the tones used by Engel in its facades. The aisle lighting was updated to highlight forgotten architectural elements – roof shapes and arched recesses.
At the same time, a conference room was also planned for the site, which was renamed Icebreaker with the new interior, according to the icebreakers standing in front of the Sea Barracks and partly thanks to a surprising selection of chairs presenting Finnish design history. In addition to lighting, colors and surfaces, we designed a long conference table and storage furniture. We replaced the traditional presidential portrait boards with a wooden, reorganizable puzzle board in which the images of our presidents were immortalized in glass by engraving. The lighting and technology of the room were updated to the level of today’s requirements.
The alterations were carried out in co-operation with the National Board of Antiquities.
Client: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland