Image © Jan Ahlstedt

Image © Jan Ahlstedt

Art & Design

Sustainable design comes natural for mbar. We work with design classics either as originals or as restored pieces. We look for designs that are both contemporary and match with the functionalist style of Lasipalatsi (Glass Palace, 1935) building.

The café section chairs are by the Finnish desginer Ilmari Tapiovaara from 1957, titled "Nana". Lounge chairs are Ray Eames fibreglass molds from early 1950s with Eiffel base. Lounge sofas are designed by Donald Chadwick in 1973 for Herman Miller.

There are two types of stools. One's with a back rest are unique designs by Harri Koskinen, originally meant for a project in NYC. The wooden stools are by Eero Aarnio.

Our dj-stand, aquarium, magazine racks, terrace building glass, small bar, bar shelves etc. are designed by bar founder Tapio Mäkelä; graphics printed on glass are done by Emil Bertell. Emil has produced brilliant graphics also for several posters and flyers for mbar, as well as his brother Erik Bertell.

Other special features include spotlights designed by Yrjö Kukkapuro, lamps by Yki Nummi and Alvar Aalto. Many aspects of interior design, like the overall lighting, are part of the Lasipalatsi original architecture. For instance, wall and ceiling colors are protected by the Finnish museum legislation. The Lasipalatsi ("Glass Palace") building was opened in the winter of 1935, designed by architects Viljo Revell, Niilo Kokko and Paavo Tynell. Where mbar resides, Valio operated an ice cream bar. We wish we still had their neon penguins!

mbar terrace (2005 edition) is designed by architect office Talli, Minna Lukander as the chief architect. Finishing touches such as furniture, wooden surfaces and the images printed onto the service building are designed by mbar. The photographs on the terrace building are by nature photographer Markku Tano (from the Finnish Nature Photography Archive).

Comics machine

The comic strip vending machine at mbar has been converted from an old cigarette machine by the Finnish Comics Association. Petri Koikkalainen and colleague artists sometimes gather at the bar to hand draw the cigarette boxes, filled with a comic strip (2 euros each), or send new ones by post. The machine is a true marvel.

Art on mbar walls

mbar hosts regularly visual art exhibits. We look for artists who connect with urban culture rather than traditional painting or photography. Please send us a proposal with images that you intend for the exhibit, tell about yourself too.

Please note that we are not a commercial gallery. You may not put up a price list nor any stickers on the wall. We are happy to give your contacts though to those interested, and you can of course sell your works directly. We also don't insure your work so you exhibit at your own risk. Hanging of the works should be done using existing rails & hooks.

We are also often approached about projecting to the tunnel in front of mbar. These kinds of projects are possible, as long as you secure your equipment in a compact way and the content is "cool" for public space viewing.