In September 2017, to coincide with Helsinki Design Week, leading Finnish architect Aaarne Evri designed a space in Villa Himberg—which has since become the official residence of the Spanish ambassador to Finland—for an event entitled "Design Diplomacy". At that occasion, Spanish designer Andreu Carulla and Finnish designer Mikko Laakkonen took part in a debate on design in their respective countries.
Afterwards, the Spanish ambassador to Finland commissioned both designers to furnish a number of rooms at the Embassy and celebrate 100 years of diplomatic relations between Finland and Spain.
The project began soon after with both designers researching each country’s culture, meeting manufacturers and producing new collections for installation. After carefully considering the influences, materials and manufacturing techniques from both Spain and Finland, they developed a number of objects that have transformed the interior décor of two embassy rooms, giving the residence a more contemporary feel. The result of this collaborative design were stools and side tables in terracotta and cork, made by Spanish company Mobles 114, and a bench and sofa in ash with traditional latticework produced by Finnish company Made by Choice.
These designer creations enhancing Villa Himberg’s living quarters were exhibited at the Spanish ambassador’s residence in September during Helsinki Design Week 2018 and will remain on display in the years ahead. They will also become part of the estate of the Spanish Embassy in Helsinki.