Kalevala Koru (retail design)
PROJECT Kalevala Koru (Jewelry)
WHERE Helsinki, Finland
DESCRIPTION high-end boutique retail design
CONCEPT DESIGN BY Mimi Violette
The story of Kalevala Koru has its beginning in 1935 and is one the largest jewelry manufacturers in northern Europe. The company designs, manufactures and markets high-quality gold, silver and bronze jewelry. Together with Lapponia Jewelry, they form one of the largest jewelry groups in Europe. The necklace worn by Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) at the end of Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope was made by Lapponia.
In 2009, I was commissioned to conceptualize interior designs for the revamp of Kalevala Koru’s most significant retail-space, in downtown Helsinki. The jewelry line wanted to merge the better of two worlds; where merchandise meets art-exhibition, public gatherings and high-end café services. The floor plan…
My interpretation modernized the architectural framework of the interior, with style akin to that of Kalevala’s “Bold, Timeless, Genuine” and unique history. The interior would establish a strong and conducive presence, offering visual flair while complimenting the delicate pieces among it. The overall natural hues and textures would co-exist with the jewelry with the unprocessed statements artists want to make when exhibiting their work. Finland’s rich natural surroundings, warmth of fireplaces and Scandinavian character would be highlighted with soft, curious lighting, birch and whitewash timber, furs and knits... and the flexibility of display niches and retail fixtures, allowing interchangeability among the space, continuously keeping clientele intrigued.
A pivotal factor in Kalevala’s proposition was my fresh perspective of Finland at the time—my trial perception to the antithesis of light and dark seasons, the farouche culture, the seafaring history... The Baltic Sea, for example, lent inspiration for the space’s prospective high-gloss, deep-black floors, to be reflected by subtle, veiled lighting. Paying homage to Finnish, architectural heritage, natural floor-to-ceiling/ceiling-to-wall birch-veneer rafters would alcove inquisitive display nooks… pitching the ceiling where the spaces’ existing skylights are positioned tribute to Finnish ‘summer-cottages… while provocative, minimalist lighting fixtures would compliment the merchandise…
The RETAIL DISPLAY FIXTURES would be the hierarchical element to Kalevala’s renovation. The space’s warm surroundings and nooks of intrigue would tribute a collection of Scandinavian “domestic” case goods, authentically housing the merchandise while blending-in with the surrounding furnishings and architecture. The furniture’s’ variety of contours would be painted in a uniform, high-glossy white, displaying goods on a top-sheet of native stone, overall enclosed in a secured glass case. Each case good offers sufficient storage and clientele a familiar ode to Finnish traditions.