If like a true Scandiphile, you’ve devoured Jo Nesbø’s crime novels, watched back-to-back box sets of The Bridge, decked yourself out in head-to-toe Marimekko and made the pilgrimage to Copenhagen’s Noma, it’s time to check out the newest Nordic phenomenon – a Finnish mökki in the heart of Paris.
In Finland many people have a mökki, or a small wooden cottage, where they spend weekends and holidays, especially in the summer. Most are very basic, often without running water, and they provide a connection to nature, a slower pace of life and a focus on quality time with family and friends. Designer Linda Bergroth has captured the essence of this experience in the Koti installation comprising six wooden huts and a communal dining table inside the Institut Finlandais just around the corner from Paris’ left bank.
“The Koti installation highlights the experience of a common, shared home,” Linda explains. “There are six little huts without soundproofing, and guests eat breakfast together. Yet people are not forced to speak but can be together quietly, and not talking is completely okay. Instead of well-known design products, I think we should highlight the Finnish ways of sharing. This is what the little village of aitta guest houses for Koti aims to achieve. It is a bit crazy and experimental experience that requires the guest to engage in something completely new.”
Exhibition and event space by day, and a hotel – of sorts – by night, the Koti (Finnish for ‘home’) provides a unique opportunity to sample Finnish hospitality in the heart of Paris, for just 100 days, to mark the 100-year anniversary of Finnish independence.
The huts, inspired by Finnish storage sheds or ‘aitta’ are constructed from spruce timber – slight gaps between each overlapping plank enable the huts to breathe and add to the sense of connection with the overall space. Inside, they are simply furnished with products all sourced from Finland, including bath towels and special edition bed linen by Lapuan Kankurit and natural daylight lamps by Innolux.
Sociable guests can enjoy getting to know their neighbors, while short films, documentaries, animations and Finnish travel guides by Visit Finland, available on your own devices via the wireless network – together with sliding lockable doors – provide solace for more introverted visitors.
Lapuan Kankurit has also designed robes and slippers provided to every guest – crucial for slipping out to the communal bathrooms in the middle of the night!
In the morning, a traditional Finnish breakfast is served at a communal dining table designed by architects Mattila & Merz on tableware by Nathalie Lahdenmäki, with strong black coffee – just how the Finns like it – served in distinctive Piippu pots by Helsinki-based designers Salla Luhtasela and Wesley Walters.
The large windows of the Institut Finlandais make breakfast somewhat of a public performance for the passersby – make sure you pack your best pajamas, so you can look your best while tucking into rye bread, salted butter, rhubarb jam, Finnish berries and yogurt – all provided by Food from Finland.
During the day, guests must vacate their huts as the space turns back into an events venue – hosting a variety of concerts and talks, film screenings and pop-up restaurant nights throughout its 100 day duration.
KOTI is part of the Mobile Home 2017 project, which explores different meanings of home with unique installations at the Finnish Institutes in Benelux, Berlin, London and Paris.
What: The Koti Sleepover Experience
Where: Institut Finlandais, 60 Rue des Ecoles, 75005 Paris, France
When: Open for 100 days only – until 05 May 2017
How much?: From £80 (approx. $100) for a single cottage
Highlights: A unique experience that gets as close to the Finnish archipelago as it’s possible to get in the heart of Paris.
Design draw: Understated Finnish style at every turn from tableware by Nathalie Lahdenmäki to specially commissioned bed linen by Lapuan Kankurit.
Book it: Via Airbnb