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Kristiina Michelsson 

For interior architect Kristiina Michelsson, design starts from the history of the building: ”I want my design to express the spirit of the building”

Kristiina Michelsson, founder of Studio Arcibella and interior designer, knows how to

turn environment and history into atmosphere. Having designed more than 30 hotels, she knew exactly how to connect the spirit of the old historical building with the concept of Hotel Mestari. 

Kristiina Michelsson is a third-generation architect. She grew up surrounded by architecture and and art, so the career choice was obvious for her. 

“Throughout my childhood, I was taken to various churches and art museums all over Europe.

There’s something so familiar about art museums, even if it’s on the other side of the world. I grew up to a certain way of thinking. On the street, I don’t look at the shop windows. I look at the details, colours and materials.”

After studying interior architecture in Milan, Michelsson returned to Finland and soon set up her own business, Studio Arcibella. Her passion for traveling is strongly connected to her work: Studio Arcibella has designed over 30 hotels and 60 restaurants.

“I am inspired by hotel and restaurant spaces. They are the meeting point between functionality and experience. The design must serve the function of the space, while at the same time creating the overall atmosphere of the space.”

Photo: Marica Rosengard

”I wanted to cherish the finishing details in Mestari”

What Hotel Mestari looks and feels like is largely done by Michelsson. The work begins from the building’s structures and technology, proceeding to colours, materials, textures and shapes of fittings and different surfaces. All choices reflect the building’s past and present spirit.

“I want the customer to experience the spirit of the place through our design. That’s why the design always starts from the history and environment of each space. I want to utilize old and authentic elements. For example, original brick from the 1930s is kept visible at hotel Mestari.”

Plank, metal and visible building structures are kept to evoke the atmosphere of the building’s early days. Michelsson also focuses on the detailed finishing touch like the master builders have done for decades. 

“In old Eira, there are magnificent buildings designed and built by master builders, who paid close attention to the details. Therefore I wanted to cherish the details in Mestari. For example

the reception area’s 1930s concrete floor was finished with beautiful brass mouldings.”

Who is Kristiina Michelsson?

An interior designer and entrepreneur specialized in public spaces. Through design she turns environments and histories into atmospheres.