An office and a home – Fjord Helsinki
Translated from Hanna-Katariina Mononen’s original article published at Asun.fi
Joanna Laajisto designed service design agency Fjord’s office space, which blurs the boundary between work and free time.
Light flows through the studio’s delicate, metallic room dividers. Linen curtains give privacy where it’s needed. When service design agency Fjord grew out of its Helsinki office, it needed a new studio space. Their wish was that the new studio would feel like home to its employees from around the world.
“The adjectives elegant, unconventional and human were the starting points of our design process. This is an office primarily made for employees to feel at home. The wow factor comes from what the space feels like, not from what it looks like to visitors,” says interior architect Joanna Laajisto who designed Fjord’s minimal and warm studio in central Helsinki.
Having worked with Studio Joanna Laajisto before, Fjord knew that they had found a designer who could bring Fjord’s brand alive with interior design principles.
Instead of building a traditional office space, the aim was to create an approachable, homelike workspace. Therefore, the studio includes several different kitchen and lounge spaces suitable for collaboration, creative work and casual hang-outs.
“We wanted the space to feel approachable and friendly: like stepping into someone’s home. Although we work with technology, we didn’t want to be surrounded by it. In our office, technology works and it is in the background – you don’t have to think about it,” says Stéphanie Del Rey from Fjord Helsinki.
For Fjord’s Helsinki team, it was important that most materials and furniture were of Finnish origin without being too explicit about it. Interior elements are therefore mostly from Finnish companies’ collections. Natural materials, such as the oak plank floor, sisal carpets and plants soften the space and bring desired coziness.
“When planning the space and its furniture, we wanted it to be as adaptive as possible. Now we can use our space in various versatile ways: people hang out in the office also in their free time,” says Del Rey.
“For me, the fact that people enjoy spending free time at the office is a sign of us truly succeeding in creating a homely work environment,” Laajisto summarizes.
Photos: Mikko Ryhänen