Celebrating its 150th anniversary and located in the heart of Helsinki, the Stockmann department store is the largest in Finland with around 17 million customers visiting the store annually. It is also the largest department store in the Nordic countries in terms of area and total sales. Stockmann’s is renowned for carrying all of the internationally recognised luxury brands, and has the reputation for being the main high-end department store in Finland. In the basement is “Stockmannin Herkku“, the food and beverage department, where the quality and choice of its foodstuffs is without comparison in Finland. The department store was designed by Sigurd Frosterus and built in 1930. At the end facing the Swedish Theatre is the Argus House, designed by Grahn, Hedman & Wasastjerna & John Settergren and built in 1897, which was merged with the Stockmann building in 1989, with only the facade being preserved.
It is in the Argus House that you’ll find Argus Hall, on the 5th floor, where the current exhibition “Feels Like Finland” is located, a collection of products and design-wares chosen to best represent the quality and variety of Finnish manufacturers. As Helsinki is also celebrating its designation as World Design Capital 2012, the items on display have also been chosen with design in mind, and include internationally recognised brands like Marimekko and Iittala, as well as iconic items such as Oiva Toikka’s ‘Birds’ and Tapio Wirkkala’s tableware.
Marimekko have opened a pop-up shop here, presenting customers with a one-off opportunity to experience the world of its textile printing factory in Herttoniemi, offering visitors the chance to explore the best of its summer collection of interior decorating and clothing and accessories. Marimekko will also be providing a lecture series in which the different phases of the design and production process are described. There are two lectures remaining:
• 4 August 2012, 14.00: ‘The Design Perspective’, Design Manager Pirkko Heikkilä
• 11 August 2012, 14.00: ‘The Printing Process’, Production Manager Anu-Mari Salmi
Also included in the “Feels Like Finland” exhibition is the official WDC 2012 merchandise, where a number of Finnish designers have created a range of products, including for example a canvas bag designed by Vuokko Nurmesniemi, t-shirts designed by Jesse Auersalo, Tommi Musturi, Tuomas Toivonen, Aino-Maija Metsola and Sami Kortemäki, as well as a charming flower-shaped reflector by Saara Renvall.
You can also buy the official WDC Helsinki 2012 soundtrack, “Streets Ahead”, with thirteen different songs that reveal a vibrant and intriguing music scene in which the high level of expertise and diversity of music produced can, considering the size of the city, be considered surprising even on a global scale. Included are Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu, The Five Corners Quintet, Jo Stance, and K-X-P.