Oficina Restaurante & Club Social, Helsinki, Finland
Oficina is a warm and vibrant escape into another world, where every scent, sound and taste sensation brings the pleasures of Latin America to life right in the middle of grey everyday life.
The brief was to transform a windowless labyrinth of underground corridors that had previously housed a fairly average pub-type drinking place into an inviting, engaging and gorgeous place to eat and meet and have fun. Helsinki can be a cold and grey place in winter and Oficina was to be a complete contrast to both the climate and everyday life in general, a warm place full of colour where both senses and imaginations will be tickled.
The client already had an idea that something Latin American would fit this bill, but no clear idea of what the finished product might look like. Since the restaurant was to function both as a casual lunch place and a more upscale dinner restaurant, the space was to be divided into three major zones. We decided to turn these into an open kitchen, a bar and a dining room (from less formal to more formal in that order). The design of the entrance was considered extra important as well, as it needed to function as a portal to the other world waiting inside, signaling clearly the experience ahead and thereby “luring” guests inside.
Oficina nourishes the body and soul, offering both innocent and guilty pleasures, from food and drink to good company, dancing and all-night carousing. Should it get a little out of hand, there is always the confession booth, where you can get absolution for past sins.