A New Bar in Helsinki Channels a Retro Soundtrack and a Midcentury Milanese Hotel Lounge

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
A new atmospheric bar and lounge opens up in a hip Helsinki neighborhood, channeling a retro-chic hotel lounge and inspired by a groovy soundtrack filled with tunes from the '60s and '70s.

Named after Scott Walker's 1968 hit song "Jackie" (a cover of Jacques Brel's French hit "La Chanson de Jacky"), Jackie Bar is a cocktail lounge that recently opened in Iso Roobertinkatu, Helsinki's design district. "I was given a soundtrack of '60s and '70s Italian lounge music and '70s French cosmic disco by the owner Antti Eerikäinen in order to understand the ambiance he wanted in the space. It was the best brief I've ever received," explained Joanna Laajisto, the lead designer of the project. 

Designed by Studio Joanna Laajisto, Jackie Bar is heavy on atmosphere and features a rich, retro palette of dark green walls set against caramel-colored leather upholstery. As a result, Laajisto has successfully recreated the moody and sophisticated ambiance of a midcentury Milanese hotel lobby.   

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Eerikäinen is an avid record collector and former DJ, so naturally, special attention was given to creating a standout DJ booth, which is crafted from African sapele mahogany—just like the bar. A built-in wraparound leather sofa lounge is complemented by walnut Medici lounge chairs designed by Konstantin Grcic for Mattiazzi, and low tables with striped-marble tabletops that were custom-designed by Laajisto.  

The space is completed with thoughtful touches including a 1965 Pipistrello table lamp designed by Gae Aulenti, marble flooring, a velvet curtain, and Northern Italian-style pizza served by renowned chef Antto Melasniemi



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Project Credits

Location: Iso Roobertinkatu 21, 00120 Helsinki, Finland 

Interior architecture: Studio Joanna Laajisto

Interior design: Joanna Laajisto of Studio Joanna Laajisto

Builder/general contractor: Kalustesektori 

Cabinetry design/installation: Kalustesektori

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