Runo is a boutique hotel in Old Porvoo

Located in southern Finland, Porvoo is known for its old town, idyllic wooden houses and small boutiques, restaurants and cafés scattered along narrow streets. Now Old Porvoo also has something new to be proud of: the relaxed yet elegant boutique hotel Runo. The interior of the hotel was designed by Studio Joanna Laajisto.

RUNO Hotel Porvoo
The fixed furniture in the lobby of RUNO Hotel Porvoo represent rustic contemporary style, which goes well with the old, historical building. The lamp is part of the Ihana lighting collection, designed by Joanna Laajisto and manufactured by Spanish Marset. A round custom version was made of it for the hotel.

WHEN COMPLETED IN 1913, the building was the most impressive one in Porvoo. The first floor housed a bank, and the two floors above it hosted apartments for prominent people in the city. Over the years, the stone house known as Valtimontalo had served in a variety of purposes. It had housed offices, barbershops, cafés, municipal offices, a myriad of shops, a library and even the first movie theater in Porvoo.

Now this building, designed by construction manager Oskari Holvikivi, stands renovated in its former glory. At the beginning of summer 2021, boutique hotel Runo was opened in the building. The people behind the hotel project include hotel manager Erkka Hirvonen, who had gained a great deal of experience in Dubai’s luxury hotel scene, and a group of seven private investors.

RUNO Hotel Porvoo
The lobby and restaurant are tied together by a long bar counter made of Italian travertine.
RUNO Hotel Porvoo
The lobby has a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. The modern Spine armchairs are by Fredericia, and the rattan chair is by De Padova. The slender reception desk on the background was designed by Laajisto, and the painting is by Iisa Maaranen.
RUNO Hotel Porvoo
The materials selected for the interior include timeless materials that will gain a beautiful patina over time, such as stone, solid wood and ceramics. The table is custom made, and the bar stools are by Zilio A&C.
RUNO Hotel Porvoo
The large sofa set in the lobby invite you to take a seat. The 9602 floor lamp is a classic designed by Paavo Tynell, and it is currently manufactured by Gubi. The J16 rocking chair, designed by Hans J. Wegner, is made by Fredericia.

The first floor of the hotel welcomes the guests with a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. The entire first floor consist of an open space with a reception desk, drink bar, restaurant and lounges. The color scheme is soft and light, which gives the whole space a calm feel. The relaxed jazz playing in the background and the large sofas invite you to sit down and forget the hustle and bustle of the world.

The first floor of the hotel welcomes the guests with a relaxed and cozy atmosphere.

Before the first floor became the harmonious, open space it is now, it went through immense changes. “When I visited the building for the first time, the space was crammed and labyrinthine, and the floor had many different levels. Already during my first visit, I got the idea of an open-plan first floor with a long bar counter that would tie together the reception area, which was located on a higher level, and the restaurant, which as located on a lower level,” describes Joanna Laajisto.

For the other two floors, Laajisto designed 56 hotel rooms. The stylish spa section she designed in collaboration with architect Eveliina Saranpää. On the upper floors, only slight changes were required to the wall lines, since the space had been divided and the windows had been placed in a way that was suitable for a hotel.

RUNO Hotel Porvoo
The lobby features a unique ceramics sculpture by Riku Riippa. Art was part of the interior design plan from the beginning of the project.
RUNO Hotel Porvoo
Transparent shelves give the whole a lighter feel. The custom-made glass shelf is a design by Laajisto, and the Madre table lamp is by Foscarini. Many of the design books in the hotel were provided by Finnish Design Shop’s Contract Sales.
RUNO Hotel Porvoo
The furniture includes timeless, high-quality choices. The chairs in the breakfast room are Nikari’s Linea chairs.
The Running Hare cushions by Klaus Haapaniemi complement the interior of the hotel's restaurant beautifully.

When walking through the hotel lobby or corridors or visiting the hotel rooms on the upper floors, it feels like every surface, detail and piece of furniture exudes the same level of sophistication and quality. It is clear that this hotel has been designed extremely carefully, down to the last detail.

The interior has been created by combining original architecture with rustic contemporary style, which Laajisto says to be based on the American Shaker style. Modern, high-quality design furniture adds a refreshing touch to the whole. The decor includes classic Scandinavian furniture by Danish Carl Hansen & Søn and Fredericia as well as Finnish Nikari. Part of the products was supplied by Finnish Design Shop’s Contract Sales.

The interior of the hotel has been created by combining original architecture with rustic contemporary style.

Anything old was preserved to the extent that was possible in a hundred-year-old building. The façade and stairs were in the best condition. Inside the building, on the other hand, almost everything original had been destroyed over the years. The preserved fragments, such as original wooden doors and a few traditional tile fireplaces, were restored.

“The aim was to design an interior that could not be categorized right away in terms of period and style. I also believe that these kinds of solutions stand the test of time”, says Joanna Laajisto.

Joanna Laajisto
“Runo’s decor reflects the atmosphere of the old building but also includes modern elements, since we did not want to create an interior that was a dull copy of the original,” says designer Joanna Laajisto.
RUNO Hotel Porvoo
The rooms have a serene atmosphere. The wall panels were painted with a brush on site, so they look as if they have always been there. The Material pendant light in marble is by New Works.
RUNO Hotel Porvoo
Sleeping is an important part of the hotel experience. The high-quality beds were selected from Dux’s collection. The armchair is Carl Hansen & Søn’s E015 chair.
The bathrooms were decorated to have a distinct spa feel. The towel racks were made from old hay poles.

The custom-made fixtures and furniture designed by Laajisto add their own interesting element to the interior. Laajisto has also selected art by young artists for the decor. The hotel features pieces by artists such as Inka Bell, Linda Linko, Iisa Maaranen and Riku Riipppa.

Now that hotel Runo is ready, there is much-needed new accommodation available on the outskirts of Porvoo’s old town. The hotel will, no doubt, inspire people to embark on a cultural trip or a short staycation.

“This hotel has been an exceptional project in my career as a designer. From the start, the owners had a clear vision of what kind of a hotel they wanted to develop. They had realized the value of the old building, interior design and high quality. In Finland, hotel projects are rarely implemented with such devotion and detailed design,” comments Joanna Laajisto.

RUNO Hotel Porvoo, Rihkamakatu 4, Porvoo, Finland

See also:

Finnish Design Shop Contract Sales >
Products designed by Joanna Laajisto >

Text: Anna-Kaisa Huusko Photos: Mikko Ryhänen

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