Regular weekend day in Helsinki – part two

This saturday we wanted to finally see the Best of Finland breakfast at Klaus K ( http://www.klauskhotel.com/ilmatar/aamiainen ), especially as it was once again raved in Helsingin Sanomat. Unfortunately as we got there, we realized that we were as lucky as the drunk driver who drove her car to the traffic light post while police were watching… Klaus K’s restaurant was packed and the waiter said that they were unable to take any walk ins as they had 200 guests in the hotel.

Next time we have to call ahead and make reservations.

As we were already on Bulevardi, we decided to go ans eat somewhere we would get guaranteed good service – and good breakfast.

Cafe Ekberg’s breakfast / brunch is a classic – and even though during the weekend it is quite expensive per person ( 17,80 ) compared to the weekday price ( 9,90 ) — it is still quite good.

And they have also interesting magazines to read, while enjoying your breakfast or brunch.

After the breakfast we took a stroll via few design boutiques into the Design museum, where we continue the tradition of admiring most famous finnish designers. After seeing Oiva Toikka’s exhibition as well as Marimekko retrospective describing the genious nature of Armi Ratia, it was now time to see Kaj Franck’s work.

Kaj Franck’s exhibition universal forms is extremely touching in the sense that it shows so insanely beautifully Franck’s legacy as well as his thoughts and core ideas. How all the way from 1940’s and 1950’s his design sense had the same core principles, which these days are hopefully visible in almost every finnish household in atleast one or two items.

Exhibition also included few videos about Franck, but unfortunately they were not subtitled – which means that numerous foreign visitors will not get to hear what he had to say about design, about the relationship between designer, workers and masters who crafted those objects — or about his relationship with the nature.

It almost brings a tear to my eye to realize how much finnish nature has meant to Ratia, Toikka and Franck — and how well thet had understod the necessity of living in harmony with the nature, as well as designer’s responsibility to the society and ecology. These people have been talking and educating young designers about sustainable living before it was cool.

As an engineer with a hint of industrial engineering in my I also admire Ratia and Franck greatly as they were also leading and trying new ways of mass manufacturing while also retaining traditional creative works as a source for inspiration, exploration and innovation. Franck spoke eloquently about the need for these creative experiments as well as knowhow of handicraft in terms of how different materials behave and how new manufacturing ideas could be born out of idle art-experiments.

Great exhibition.

After the exhibition we took to walk around in the city center.

Helsinki looked beautiful – and very european.

All the places were filled with tourists.

We escaped to the cityhall to the Virka-gallery, free gallery – which had photo exhibition from Aho & Soldan, exhibition which continued the theme from Ateneum few weeks ago.

If you are in Helsinki and want to see how Helsinki city center looked like in 1930’s – then go there!

After the exhibition we went to see renovated Kiseleff’s house, which these days houses numerous finnish design boutiques.

We did not try the new cafeterias, but I have to say that compared to the old – the renovated Kiseleff’s house is much more comfortable looking and feeling.

We had great expectations for Samuji’s showroom, as so many had raved about it.

But were little disappointed as the clothes were a little boring.

Tiia Vanhatapio’s showroom was much more fun..

And rock’n’roll…

Thumbs up for that!

Putiikki Rannalla looked adoring, though it was not about finnish design – but rather an interesting store with objects of desire.

Lovely.

Unfortunately AU3 jewelry shop was closed, but we will visit there some other time.

Next stops were at Vapiano..

And then at Hakaniemi market hall..

Where we went to get some really good bread..

.. really good cheese from Lentävä lehmä ( Flying cow ) and delicious finnish chocolates from Kultasuklaa.

All and all not a bad day for us.

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