The bright house
Right in the middle of the Museum Quarter is the Concertgebouw neighborhood. One of the most desirable areas to stay, if you want to live the lifestyle of Uptown Amsterdam. Here you will find the larger 19th and early 20th century apartments and townhouses, ideally located between Vondelpark, Museumplein and Concertgebouw. It is a lively neighborhood full of good restaurants, nice bars and upscale stores.
Here our clients wanted to renovate their three-story apartment into something that met their real needs. They have busy social lives and love to appropriately entertain their guests, friends and family. Music, good food, fine wine and fine company are part of their weekly routine. In smaller or larger configurations, depending on the occasion.
“We need to have an open but functional layout with different seating options. Think family dinners, but also a small intimate group or even a place to informally land at the kitchenette for a quick breakfast or a glass of wine…. And of course space for the little wing!”
Transformation into an entertainment area
As is often the case in these situations, demolition of the entire space is required so that a new layout, wiring, lighting and plumbing plan can be implemented. We extend the building by the maximum four meters, newly attached in the garden.
Now we can install an open entertainment kitchen, with induction cooktop and built-in wok cooking. Extraction comes from the top, so the overhead extractor is not needed. This way you keep maximum contact with guests. We deliberately placed the cooking area in plain sight so that it becomes part of the socializing.
Several seating areas have been placed around the kitchen. From a massive twelve-seat tropical hardwood table to a slender round marble five-seat table. At the very front we have a low seating area where you can “chill” informally and watch TV, for example.
The new rear is finished with room-high windows to enjoy the “park-like” landscape of the spacious courtyard gardens, with mature trees. Unique to this part of Amsterdam. A fireplace is placed in the middle. ‘Imagine the contrast between fire and snow in winter’. The site of the piano overlooks the treetops.
Because of the depth of the layout, we wanted to get as much light into the house as possible, to avoid dark spots in the heart of the building. We choose to paint everything bright white so it doesn’t feel dark. A typically Dutch tradition. This also makes you fully aware of the subtle change of light and shadow, from the bright morning light to the warm afternoon glow. Many reflective surfaces are also used, to capture maximum reflection.
The Master suite contains the trinity of sleeping, bathing and dressing, in one continuous transparent layout.
The design from bath to garden is built around a catwalk, with a completely unobstructed line of sight. It divides the dressing and bathing area into practical “Her’s” and “His.
The color palette
The color palette is kept fairly uncluttered and functional. A bright white shell for the “static” architectural parts and a material-oriented color scheme for the “dynamic” parts such as kitchen, various sitting, bath and bed. The staircase stands out as a guiding and connecting object, connecting the different levels.
In collaboration with Studio Roy de Scheemaker.
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