April 18, 2013

Funny and beautiful interior design by Koudenburg & Elsinga for JWT Amsterdam

Filed under: Architecture,Art,Design by Branko Collin @ 4:02 pm

Last year international ad agency JWT moved into a new office in Amsterdam, the famous Hirsch & Cie building on Leidseplein right above the Apple store. They asked interior designer RJW Elsinga and brand experience designer Alrik Koudenberg to come up with an interior design, and that they did.

The two came up with chairs shaped like faces, a trophy case shaped like a rabbit, a reception area with upside down photography (check the desktop background on the computer in the illustration below), robots that double as cupboards, the word ‘wow’ spelled backwards, workplace dividers looking like local gables and much more.

Web magazine Fontanel asked Alrik Koudenburg to explain a bit about the project:

We had to create 78 desks with room to grow to 100 and three meeting rooms. There were no strict requirements except that our design had to be ‘seriously surprising’, the slogan of the agency. […]

January 2012 we started the first phase which would amount to approximately 70% of the entire contract and four months later JWT moved in. To think that we had to get almost everything custom-made.

See also: Illustrious and tragic history of the Hirsch Building where Apple Amsterdam store has opened (external link)

(Photos: Koudenburg & Elsinga / Kasia Gatkowska, used with permission)

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June 16, 2009

Cephalopod lamp

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 9:06 am

This lamp, the Ode 1647 by Jacco Maris from Breda, Noord Brabant, must be one of the spookiest I have ever seen, although the designer was mainly looking to recreate the grandeur of chandeliers. I want one in all its splendid tentacliness. Apparently they come in all shapes and sizes. The arms are made of copper weave.

Link: bright.nl, in a short report about the 100% Design fair.

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September 19, 2008

Recently discovered Jewish interior will not be wrecked for now

Filed under: Architecture,History by Branko Collin @ 5:30 pm

A uniquely preserved WWII Jewish living room in Amsterdam will stay intact a little bit longer. The room which we wrote about last week, was discovered last year by a student at that time Alexander Westra (currently of the University of Amsterdam). AT5 reports that Lebo, the company that now owns the house, has stopped the wrecking works of the property.

The house used to belong to banker Korijn who died in 1942, after which his entire family was deported to the concentration camps where they died at the hands of the Nazis. One source called the room “more authentic than the Anne Frank House.” After the war, the house at the J.J. Viottastraat in Amsterdam came into the hands of Catholic theology students who barely touched the room, although Westra apparently did uncover some traces of parties.

In the next month and a half the owner will look at possibilities to preserve the room which is built in the Amsterdamse School style. One possibility is to turn the luxurious room into a museum.

According to a spokesperson for Het Schip, the museum for the Amsterdamse School, focus for this architectural movement usually lies on exteriors. To answer a question asked earlier by one our readers, Jay Vos, the spokesperson did not know of any books that focussed solely on Amsterdamse School interiors, although the museum is currently working on a book that will also document these interiors.

The students who lived there recorded a corny video invitation to their new year’s bash in the living room last year, which 24 Oranges discovered at that wonder-wasteland of archeology, YouTube.

Photo: Alexander Westra, republished with permission. Westra sent us several photos, a selection of which we showed in our earlier article.

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April 17, 2008

Stairs made from a castle’s floorwood

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 10:41 am

Recycled furniture – furniture clearly made from recycled materials – got very popular in the Netherlands sometime in the 1990s when an artist found out that a regular cupboard made from new materials would easily net multiple times the price if made from recycled wood. Despite the over-saturation of this market I like this staircase made by Jan Korbes from the Hague by turning old floorboards of Schloss Wiesenburg (Wiesenburg Castle) in Germany into boxes.

Via BoingBoing.

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March 1, 2008

Symbols as furniture in high school

Filed under: Architecture,Design by Branko Collin @ 8:17 am

The frog once sang: it’s not easy being green. This ultra-cool reception area that Tjep designers came up with for a high school in Apeldoorn raises the question how easy it is being in green. Students get to sit on buttons of an old fashioned calculator, get to hang in “key” areas, and get to have meetings in a tiny see-through factory, all executed in bright green. The floor plan looks like a wonderful circuit board, with symbols from the realm of economics replacing plain old conductive pathways. The reception area is in the new economics building of ROC Apeldoorn, that’s why.

The design was nominated for a 2007 Dutch Design Award in the category interior design, where it was beaten by the reception area for chemicals company DSM — the ceiling-wide mirror of which just screams “illicit office sex” to me. But perhaps that’s just me. I’ll shut up now. Go watch the pretty pictures.

Source image: Dezeen Magazine.

Thank you for the tip, Laurent.

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