Studio Roy de Scheemaker

The Penthouse – Autopon building Amsterdam

With the successful Porsche racing driver Ben Pon in charge, who also imported Porsche into the Netherlands, the Pon company had a state-of-the-art, powerful image. Between 1955 and 1961, the young architect Ben Ingwersen, designed “Autopon. It became the then headquarters and garage building with housing for Pon’s Automobile Dealership. Ingwersen was a big fan of Le Corbusier. In the design of the building, this is clearly recognizable by the “pilotes” ( the tab tapered pillars), which gave the building volume a floating character. Optimal light, the use of bare, functional concrete and unobstructed views were also typical influences that were revolutionary at the time. The building formed the link between the old city and the modern western residential areas, which were under construction at the time. The building was labeled a key work in Dutch architecture of the period and is now a National Monument.

Transformation into a Penthouse

As the crowning touch, Ingwersen placed a two-story structure on the roof, offering a spectacular 360-degree view of Amsterdam. This contained a technical room and the company’s board room. After the building changed use, the opportunity was presented to transform both of these spaces into Penthouse. Because of its listed status, major interventions to the architectural structure were out of the question. By removing all the old non-structural alterations, the building was stripped to the bone. As a result, the quality and new possibilities suddenly became apparent. By subtly modifying passageways in strategic places, a completely new layout could be created. The goal was, to connect the interior to the style period of the building and the location in an abstract way. The designs of the mid-century period were characterized by their flowing open floor plans, abundant light, spaciousness and air. The long free sightlines fall right into place here, as the views of the city are spectacular.

Materials applied

The materials and colors we used are kept natural and subdued. In collaboration with client and initiator, Haico de Boer, all the furniture was selected and designed for functionality and comfort. The lighting plan is not intended as an eye-catcher, but supports the architectural structure of the spaces and accentuates the works of art in a subdued way. Together, they form an atmospheric image that does not distract, but rather strengthens the connection with the view and surroundings.

Credits Haico de Boer

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