What we know about the Finns: they're an open and sociaable bunch. They're hot on eating healthy and provenance. They have the weekending out of town thing down (whatever the social standing). And they aren’t bad at design either. To celebrate 100 years of independence, Finnish outposts around Europe are developing projects on the theme of the mobile home (under the collective guise of 'Mobile Home 2017') that showcase these admirable qualities.
The Finnish Institute in Paris presented its big idea, Koti, this week. Koti is a bed and breakfast project, taking place in the heart of Paris over 100 days, celebrating Finnish culture through the medium of the traditional Finnish cottage (aitta). A modern take on the aitta with integrated bed has been designed by Paris-based Linda Bergroth, who has also art-directed its contents. This includes linens, robes and slippers by Lapuan Kankurit; tableware by Nathalie Lahdenmäki; coffee pots by Wesley Walter and Salla Luhtasela; furniture by Mattila & Merz for Nikari; and Innolux lamps which are programmed to simulate natural daylight, waking you up slowly. 'Summer cottage trips,' says Finnish-born Bergroth, 'are a part of our soul.'
Six examples of the spruce cabins, sleeping 12 people in total, will be erected within the Institute. They will take over an entire floor, and will be arranged around a communal dining table. The cottages will be available to hire for bed and breakfast purposes from January, for 100 days. Breakfast will be typical Finnish foods such as rye bread, salted butter and local berries.
Those of a social disposition are encouraged to mix with fellow guests around the communal table (although windowless, the slatted spruce walls of the cabins allow light through, so you will know who’s burning the midnight oil). It will also be possible to hire the entire floor. There will be events such as concerts and talks, and guest chefs laid on throughout the duration. All the bespoke designs created for the project will be available to buy.
We never tire of trips to the French capital, and a regular immersion in all things Parisian, but for those unlikely to make it to Finland anytime soon, this looks to be a fun way to combine the best of both worlds.