When in Rovaniemi

Do as the locals do. Words of wisdom that any seasoned traveller is familiar with. They don’t just govern behavior, however. They speak to the importance of having an open mind, embracing new customs, and adapting to one’s surroundings. There are equivalents in all languages. In English, one is told that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It counts for the Italian capital, just as it counts for northern Finland. Which is exactly where we headed this winter.

An overhead view of a building made of snow, with four Polestar cars nearby.

Rovaniemi, to be specific.

Six miles south of the Arctic circle, Rovaniemi has long been associated with two disparate figures: influential architect and designer Alvar Aalto, and celebrated gift-giver Santa Claus. And though we can appreciate the latter, it’s the former that we, as a design-led brand, wanted to acknowledge and pay homage to. Our temporary space, made to the same exacting minimalistic standards as everything else Polestar, fits right in with Aalto’s Modernist creations that dot downtown Rovaniemi. And it’s this same minimalism that enabled us to build our space out of a material that’s in abundance in the Lapland capital. Something that’s integral to the town’s identity as the official hometown of Santa Claus.

Snow.

Clean, sustainable, circular, and part of our colour palette, snow was the ideal material with which to create our temporary space. Harvested nearby, assembled locally, and brought to the site in electric trucks, the snow and ice will return to the system from whence they came once the temporary space is finished, finding use on the slopes of nearby Ounasvaara.

The temporary space itself served as an extension of the Polestar brand in the far north, featuring test drives on a nearby track and components, already a hallmark of any Polestar space, realised in ice.

When in Rovaniemi, do as the Rovaniemians do. Be minimalistic. Be conscious of the delicate environment you’re surrounded by. And use snow.

 

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