by Niclas Ahlström, founding partner of Made by Choice

Savoy Restaurant, a prestige project

Savoy Restaurant, a prestige project

It was a great honour for Made by Choice to be involved in the restoration of the historic Savoy Restaurant together with Studioilse. This project was especially important for myself as the restaurant is intimately tied to my family history and heritage.

Over 80 years ago in 1937 the restaurant was opened in the Ahlström "Industrial Palace" building designed by the famed architect Walter Jung. Designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto, the charming restaurant quickly became the hottest ticket in town. Baron Mannerheim, the Finnish military leader and 6th president had his own corner table which is one of the most popular tables to this day.

The restaurant also gave birth to one of Aalto's most iconic pieces, the "Savoy vase" often referred to as the "Aalto vase."

83 years of operation had left its mark on the existing Alvar Aalto designed dining tables. Made by Choice was chosen to produce the new tables based on Aalto's original design. Made by Choice also manufactured the new reception desk, drinks cabinet, plant stands and side table for the terrace - all designed by Studioilse.

My family has a long tradition working with Alvar and Aino Aalto. Maire Gullichsen the daughter of Walter Ahlström, a prominent industrialist, founded the Artek furniture company together with the Aaltos in 1935. The Ahlström family business also owned the Iittala and Karhula glassworks. Aalto created numerous now iconic pieces for Iittala.

Maire and Harry Gullichsen were internationally renown patrons of the arts and worked closely with Aalto on numerous projects such as the Villa Mairea and Sunila, which was chosen as the world's most beautiful factory and presented at the world's fair in Paris in 1937 and in New York 1939.

Today, the Savoy is in the capable hands of the acclaimed Chef Patron Helena Puolakka, one of the most successful Finnish chefs.

We raise a glass to the Savoy and the continued success of this national gem!