Hel Yes! temporary restaurant

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Hel Yes

A temporary restaurant created by Finnish designers and serving Finnish food opens today until 3 October in London, coinciding with the London Design Festival.

Hel Yes

The restaurant called Hel Yes! will be furnished around the edge with camp beds under fabric canopies, and classic Finnish furniture by Alvar Aalto in the centre.

Hel Yes

Guests will dine at tables made by Linda Bergroth from saplings thinned out from a forest near Helsinki, secured at the top to form arching branches over each table.

Hel Yes

The project also features glassware by Harri Koskinen, staff uniforms by Heikki Salonen and Video work by Maria Duncker.

Hel Yes

Directed by Klaus Haapaniemi, the restaurant will be located at Londonewcastle Depot, 1-3 Wenlock Road.

Hel Yes

The information below is from the Finnish Institute in London:


HEL YES!
14 Days of Food and Design from Helsinki

16 September - 3 October 2010
Londonewcastle Depot, 1-3 Wenlock Road, London N1

Can furniture be made from trees thinned out from the forest? Can a new dinner set be created from donated plates? Can a restaurant gather ingredients straight from the forest? Can something new come out of foraging the old?

The Finnish Institute in London is delighted to announce HEL YES!, a temporary restaurant and exhibition imagined and realised by a creative team of Finnish designers and food visionaries; lead by Antto Melasniemi together with London-based designers Mia Wallenius and Klaus Haapaniemi. Unveiled in mid-September during London Design Festival 2010, HEL YES! will serve as a melting pot of people and ideas for 14 days.

HEL YES! will showcase the best in Finnish food and design. Partnering with Finland’s world class design houses Iittala and Artek for exclusive customised furniture, lighting and tableware, modern and future classics will build bridges between the past and the present in HEL YES!

A number of items will be exclusively made for the opening of HEL YES! The lighting design, furniture and staff uniforms are designed by the most sought after talent in contemporary Finnish design; Fashion EAST designer Heikki Salonen, interior/furniture designer Linda Bergroth, sculptor/video artist Maria Duncker and furniture and product designer Harri Koskinen.

Inside HEL YES!

Entering the HEL YES! space, guests will find themselves in a campsite-like formation in the shape of a circle. Canopy style open tents on the edges of the main area will be created with cashmere shawls and linen textiles from the new ‘Klaus Haapaniemi’ luxury textile collection, launching at HEL YES! Inside the open, candlelit tents, the diners can sit on camp beds.

The middle of the space will boast unique tables designed by Linda Bergroth especially for HEL YES!, seating 60-80 diners. Created from young, aspen trees thinned out from a forest near Helsinki, the tree’s slim trunks otherwise destined to become wood chips have been given another life as poetic, hut like structures under which guests can camp and enjoy a delicious dinner.

Sitting down to dine, guests will discover that their chairs are by the most celebrated Finnish architect of all times, Alvar Aalto. Originally designed in 1932 for the Paimio Sanatorium in Finland, the renowned Artek ‘403’ chairs will appear in HEL YES! in three exclusive new colours. Diners and visitors to HEL YES! will also be privy to a unique bird’s eye view to the campsite from the loft where the restaurants activities can be observed. Long common tables by Nikari on the loft will welcome up to 40 customers without table reservations to be seated and to interact with friends and new acquaintances. Additional lighting is also created for the space by Saas Instruments.

In the HEL YES! kitchen the ideology of foraging continues. Tastes from the Nordic forests are brought to the plate by top chefs in straightforward and simple style. Though some key Finnish ingredients such as fish roe, game and preserved plants will come from Finland, most of the daily ingredients will be sourced by the HEL YES! team of hunters and gatherers from around London.

The open kitchen and counter themed ‘Catch of the Day’ will be situated on the edge of the campsite, allowing for an interactive dining experience between diners and the chef. Guests’ eyes will instantly be averted to a long kitchen counter consisting of myriad wooden and plastic baskets containing the Finnish raw, foraged ingredients, giving a glimpse of the dishes served that day.

The special Iittala tableware in HEL YES! is also a result of foraging. In an event organised in Helsinki earlier this year, participants were asked to trade in their beloved Iittala or Arabia plates and the story of their tablewear for a complimentary dinner. Together, all the different mix and match plates and crockery represent a collection of memories for those dining at HEL YES! Each table will also boast a set of Iittala’s Art Works 2009 collection of unique, limited edition glassware designed by Harri Koskinen.

The HEL YES! Creative team

Antto Melasniemi is the Concept Director and Executive Chef of HEL YES!

Melasniemi (b.1975) is a restaurant and hospitality entrepreneur renowned for his two highly praised concept restaurants, Ateljé Finne and Kuurna in Helsinki. Having worked in restaurants in Paris and Amsterdam Melasniemi is a recognised name across Europe. In London he worked with Helena Puolakka at Sonny’s and raised the culinary profile of Broadway Market based gastro pub, Cat & Mutton as their executive chef. Recently, he has designed and produced a range of culinary events for clients such as Artek, Nokia and Flow Festival.

British and London-based Finnish top chefs, artists and designers will be invited to join Melasniemi as guest chefs during the project’s opening.

Mia Wallenius is the Art Director of HEL YES!

Wallenius (b. 1970) is a Finnish art director, graphic designer and illustrator now based in London. Wallenius has worked internationally in fashion as both art director and concept designer for Stella McCartney, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Diesel, amongst others. Her signature style is a combination of fantasy, drama and surprise with high-end craftsmanship.

Klaus Haapaniemi is the Creative Director of HEL YES!

Haapaniemi (b. 1970) is at the forefront of Britain’s fashion illustrators. Winner of accolades including Finnish Graphic Designer of the Year 2008, Haapaniemi’s work includes designs for Selfridge’s department store and illustrations for Vogue, Guardian and Penguin books. Other clients include Cacharel, Isetan, Iittala, Levis, Diesel, Christian Loubotin, Le Printemps and American online. Haapaniemi’s varied work spans both design and illustration and his visual elegance and inventiveness communicates with contemporary audiences with emotional impact.

A Taster of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012

One of the key international satellite events leading up to 2012 when Helsinki is the World Design Capital, the HEL YES! restaurant and exhibition will increase visibility for design hailing from Helsinki in international media as well as London’s competitive design and restaurant scene, fusing the best of the two capitals in this unique, first time alliance. HEL YES! will present Helsinki as an interesting, hip and multifaceted design city, while raising awareness of contemporary Finnish design alongside the renowned classics, and creating further identity for Finnish designers in London.

HEL YES! is produced as part of the Institute’s Arts & Culture Programme’s three-year project focusing on design, ‘Helsinki - London Design Camp’.

“While a number of Finnish design classics are celebrating key anniversaries, new thinking and practice is flourishing as Helsinki is preparing to step up as World Design Capital 2012. Against this very special backdrop, the HEL YES! team will bring a thrilling mix of old and new, unique and repurposed to London”, says Hanna Harris, the Art & Culture Programme Director from the Finnish Institute in London.

The Finnish Institute in London is a private trust that works with artists, researchers, experts and policy makers in Finland, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to promote strong networks within the fields of arts, culture and social studies. The Institute works to facilitate cultural export, artist exchange and innovative collaborations across the arts and across borders.

HEL YES! will be open for lunch and dinner from 15 September – 3 October 2010.

Please see website for opening hours and restaurant reservations: www.helyes.fi

The HEL YES! Creative team

Antto Melasniemi is the Concept Director and Executive Chef of HEL YES!

Melasniemi (b.1975) is a restaurant and hospitality entrepreneur renowned for his two highly praised concept restaurants, Ateljé Finne and Kuurna in Helsinki. Having worked in restaurants in Paris and Amsterdam Melasniemi is a recognised name across Europe. In London he worked with Helena Puolakka at Sonny’s and raised the culinary profile of Broadway Market based gastro pub, Cat & Mutton as their executive chef. Recently, he has designed and produced a range of culinary events for clients such as Artek, Nokia and Flow Festival.
British and London-based Finnish top chefs, artists and designers will be invited to join Melasniemi as guest chefs during the project’s opening.

Mia Wallenius is the Art Director of HEL YES!

Wallenius (b. 1970) has created the visual elements for the project. Based in London, she has worked extensively in fashion as art director and concept director but also as designer for cultural institutions. Wallenius’ approach merges fantasy, drama and surprise with high-end craftmanship.

Klaus Haapaniemi is the Creative Director of HEL YES!

Haapaniemi (b.1970) is currently one of Britain’s leading fashion illustrators. His projects include designs for Christmas windows for prestigious department stores in Paris, Tokyo and London and illustrations for Vogue. Haapaniemi has also collaborated with Cacharel, Sony, Marimekko and Iittala. His work ranges from design to illustration and challenges the boundaries between.


See also:

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Studio East by
Carmody Groarke
Eat Drink Design at
Dutch Design Week
Nomiya temporary restaurant
by Pascal Grasso
  • Laura

    Adams family meets Finnish design. Quite spooky space. Cold and weird athmosphere. But nice cast iron pot!

  • jennie

    lovely details, wish the pictures were not so dark

  • Suta

    This restaurant has been inspired from traditional Persian style.