The materials of Helsinki Design Week's bar counter and seat materials were chosen based on sustainable criteria
A spectacular event space was realized in the raw industrial space on the top floor of Merikortteli, the main event venue of the 2023 Helsinki Design Week. The main exhibition, curated by the founder and editor-in-chief of Asun magazine Ulla Koskinen, was presented at the venue. In addition Merikortteli was housing a stage for the most important panel discussions of the event and a pop-up restaurant with Let Me Wine & HDW Stage.
Lauri Johansson, the designer of the Bar and Stage, describes his work:
What were the starting points for your design of Let Me Wine & HDW Bar?
"It was important for us to create an attractive space for meetings and discussions at the main venue of Helsinki Design Week. We wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere in the spectacular space, which would also support following the interesting content on stage. So the space had Let Me Wine & HDW Bar and the HDW Stage. Over the course of five days, various parties, launches and discussion events was organized in the space."
How did you end up with the materials you chose?
"I wanted to design a temporary event space that could be taken apart and completely reused. Minimizing demolition waste is important to me.
At the center of the design were Wienerberger block brick elements, which I used in the manufacture of furniture (seat tops, bar counters, benches). The bricks were easily dismantled and reused after the event.
I was looking for a pair of contrasting materials for the brick, which would increase the quality impression of the furniture. The wide colour range of Durat's composites and the synthetic nature of the material offered an excellent opportunity for this. The domesticity of the manufacturer and the ecological nature of the material were also key factors in the selection. After the event, the sheets used in the furniture were disassembled and delivered to the manufacturer for further processing."
Are you satisfied with the solutions afterwards?
"I am very satisfied with how the whole thing worked both on a practical level and visually. We received a lot of enthusiastic feedback from visitors and customers, which is nice to hear. I am also particularly satisfied that the effort to implement event design in a sustainable way succeeded so well."
What kind of feedback did you get about the implementation of Let Me Wine & HDW Bar?
"The bar and the event space received a very positive reception from both visitors and partners. Many paid attention to how much effort had been put into the design and implementation, even though it was a temporary solution. The material combo used in the furniture in particular aroused interest and inspired many to think about how similar materials could be used in different contexts. This confirms that the project succeeded in creating an interesting and impressive space that provoked thought and discussion."
What would you like to say about this project in general?
"I am grateful to all the participants of the project. Together we were able to create a wonderful and experiential space for Helsinki Design Week in a surprising location. The event space enabled many meaningful encounters and hopefully brought new perspectives to the discussion about the possibilities of sustainable space planning."