The most famous Finnish Designer Tapio Wirkkala took an interest in the Saima hardwood floor in the 1980's and influenced its product design. The unique vertical veneer structure of Saima resembled the structure used in much of Wirkkala's and Aino and Alvar Aalto's work; within sculptures, furniture and interior decor details. Wirkkala applied Saima's characteristics in his interior design projects and chose Saima as the floor of the Finnish Glass Museum in Riihimäki and for the ceiling in his own home.
Thus began also the cooperation between Saima floor and Wirkkala. Wirkkala wished to design a new colour for the Saima product family. He defined it as "Beehive grey" and the material as solidly coloured. Nearly thirty years ago it was possible to produce only a limited amount of this special Saima floor - all for Wirkkala's private use and for his world exhibition tour.
In 2009 the original Wirkkala-colour is relaunched into the Saima-family. It has been manufactured with exactly the same colour recipe as in 1980. The Wirkkala-colour is also made unique by the through-dyeing of the birch veneer. The Wirkkala coloured Saima floors endure wear and tear without changing colour, since the colour treatment reaches all the way through the massive wood top layer structure.
Saima Wirkkala floor has won the international red dot design award.
References to Tapio Wirkkala with the permission of the Wirkkala-Bryk Foundation. More information on Tapio Wirkkala for example from http://www.wirkkalabryk.fi/