Beautiful curves: The "Jackie" bar. Bar stool "Ido" by Zanotta.

Beyond time and space

“Jackie”, a bar designed by Joanna Laajisto, would be a credit to any Italian metropolis – it so wonderfully quotes postwar Italian design. However, it is located at the opposite end of Europe.
by Fabian Peters | 10/31/2017

Even if the name of the bar does not necessarily reveal the fact, “Jackie” lives and breathes Italianness. Its sweeping wood veneer counter calls to mind powerboats on Lake Como and its travertine floor all those café bars, large and small, which are to be found between the Alps and Sicily and which play such an important part in everyday Italian life. Konstantin Grcic’s “Medici” chairs for Mattiazzi quote Gio Ponti and the little chairs made of strips of differently variegated marble on red metal bases are so incredibly stylish that you immediately want sit down at one of them and order an aperitif. Everything seems so wonderfully harmonious that it would come as no surprise if Marcello Mastroianni were to suddenly drop by for a drink. Be that as it may, neither a tux not a cocktail dress would seem an inappropriate dress code for this establishment.

Despite all of this, the bar is not located on Via Veneto in Rome but in Helsinki, a place where the nights at the end of October tends to be characterized not by warm late summer evenings but by night frosts. Moreover, the bar is not the brainchild of a Milan-based design studio but that of the Finnish interior designer Joanna Laajisto who has recently turned heads with her innovative shop fittings. For Euroshop 2017, for instance, she came up with “The Village”, a stand design for Vitra representing a shopping mall consisting of five different retail stores. On the stand, Vitra teamed up with sister companies Vizona and Ansorg to offer illuminating insights into the future of high-end retail design. With these stores, designed for the sale of cosmetics, organic products, electrics, fashion and even automobiles, Laajisto has shown a completely different side to her work – light and matter-of-fact, extremely contemporary and simultaneously restrained. In her designs, the focus is not on the fittings but on the products. 

“Jackie” likewise clearly demonstrates its virtues as a stage and a setting, even if, in this case, it does so with the aim of promoting itself. What a shame that in Helsinki there are not more opportunities for rolling up at this little piece of postwar Italy in a headscarf and sunglasses and riding a Vespa motor scooter.

Ready for the aperitivo: "Medici" chairs by Konstantin Grcic for Mattiazzi, tables by Joanna Laajisto.
The famous Pipistrello lamp by Gae Aulenti
"Framed" mirror from Muuto and Atelier Areti lamp in the bathroom.