The Golden Bell Savoy pendant by Alvar Aalto shows the passing of time

Artek's A330S pendant lamp, also as known as the Golden Bell, has been a part of the Restaurant Savoy in Helsinki since the very beginning. The Golden Bell Savoy, which develops a beautiful patina over time, has also become a favorite in contemporary interiors.

Artek A330S Savoy
Pendant A330S was exhibited at the Finnish Pavilion at the Paris World Fair in 1937.

ALMOST ALL FINNS HAVE HEARD of the Restaurant Savoy, although not that many have visited it as customers. The Savoy is famous as an icon of cultural history, as well as for its food – the regular table of Marshal Mannerheim, a former Finnish leader, is still in its old place. So too is the interior décor, created by Alvar and Aino Aalto, which includes highlights such as the Golden Bell pendants in solid brass.

“Today, the new top-class Restaurant Savoy was opened in A. Ahlström Osakeyhtiö’s handsome new building at the corner of the South Esplanade and Kasarmikatu; all indications are that it will form a popular dining and meeting place for city residents and tourists alike”, declared the national newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, on the Savoy's opening day of 3 June 1937.

Artek A330S Savoy
Restaurant Savoy celebrated its opening on 3 June 1937.
Artek A330S Savoy
The Golden Bell was designed as a part of Savoy's décor. The original lamps are still in use today.
Artek A330S Savoy
On the wall behind the corner table is a photo of Carl Gustaf Mannerheim and a plate stating that the former Finnish leader was Savoy's regular customer.

Located on the 7th and 8th floors of the Industrial Palace, which was designed by Valter Jung, the Savoy has retained its 1930s appearance almost unchanged. The walls’ and ceilings’ birch veneers, Aino Aalto’s club chairs and Alvar Aalto’s lighting create a fresh but clean-cut milieu, which the patina does not darken over time – on the contrary, it provides the venue with a cosy and intimate nature.

The Savoy's kitchen artfully combines traditions and trends, highlights organic and local food, and has its own terrace herb garden in the summer. One of the best-known dishes on the menu is the Vorschmack meat stew – Marshal Mannerheim is said to have brought the recipe with him from Warsaw.

The patina in the Restaurant Savoy does not darken over time – on the contrary, it provides the venue with a cosy and intimate nature.

Restaurant Savoy, Helsinki
Savoy's warm elegance has stayed almost unchangeable from the 1930s to the present.
Artek A330S Savoy
Alvar and Aino Aalto collaborated on the interior design of the restaurant.

The original Golden Bells illuminate the tables lining the back wall. Made from a single piece of brass, the A330S became known as the Golden Bell due to the warm, golden glow cast by its inner surface. The famous Aalto vases from 1936, also known as Savoy vases, form part of the décor; the restaurant bought the rights to these at the time.

The Golden Bell is made from a single piece of brass and it casts a warm, golden glow.

Artek A330S Savoy pendant light
On the left is Artek's A330S in brass-plated steel, and on the right is the A330S Savoy, released in 2017, featuring a black cord and untreated brass surface that develops a beautiful patina over time.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Savoy in 2017, Artek released a new interpretation of the A330S pendant. With a polished, untreated outer surface, A330S Savoy is reminiscent of the original version. The Golden Bell Savoy creates a warm elegance also in modern homes, with the patina adding a touch of class in the same stylish fashion as it does in the Restaurant Savoy.

Restaurant Savoy, Eteläesplanadi 14, Helsinki, Finland

See also: 

Artek's A330S Savoy pendant light >
Iittala's Aalto vase >
• Read also: The legendary Savoy restaurant is the ultimate in style and fine dining >

Text: Nora Uotila Images: Restaurant Savoy and Artek

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