Studio Ruim

Living in a classroom

It is not difficult to imagine how the children in the 1930s here hung their coats on the hooks under the window. How they then entered the classroom to do their maths with the help of an abacus. From the schoolyard at the back of the building, the sounds of children playing climbed up to the ridge of the roof.

That is the strength of Studio Ruim by interior architects Sigrid van Kleef and René van der Leest: they renovate old and monumental buildings with respect for history and with an eye for the future. In the sleek design of the modern apartment, the contours of the classroom from the past remain visible in subtle references. The linoleum on the floor, the vintage colors, the exposed beams under the sloping roof and the window that once separated the hall from the classroom but now connects the kitchen to the living room. “We find it important that the history of a building is given a place in our design,” explains Sigrid van Kleef. “At the same time, we also want to create a contemporary apartment where you can live comfortably.”

And that is possible in this old classroom in Amsterdam, which, due to the lack of doors, is most reminiscent of a spacious loft where a sea of ​​light enters the entire width through the endless windows at the front of the building. “During the day this is a completely different apartment than at night,” explains René van der Leest. “Then the various elements in the interior are literally illuminated by spotlights. Light always plays an important role in our designs: it emphasizes the architecture. ”

Steel is also a regular material in the designs of the duo. The eye-catcher of this apartment is the olive-green steel staircase, which sits enthroned in the living room like a pulpit and leads to the loft, where the bedroom and bathroom are located. “We wanted to turn the staircase into a real furniture object,” says Sigrid van Kleef. We succeeded.

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