Text description provided by the architects. Amsterdam North is rapidly developing into a diverse and desirable district of Amsterdam. In a special location in the heart of this neighbourhood, Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten have designed the renovation of two old ‘potato barns’ into contemporary residential properties for two families, including an in-house photo studio for the famous photography duo Scheltens & Abbenes.
One barn dates back to the Second World War and was built using hybrid construction techniques; the second was added in the sixties and built as a steel construction with wooden floors and a concrete stone facade. In accordance with the plan for the redevelopment and the renovation of the land and buildings, several old extensions were demolished and the existing interior completely stripped. Following a sophisticated plan, the main rooms were re-formatted into large, loft-like living and working spaces.
In the arrangement of these spaces, the original constructions of the barns have remained visible. Together with the new plastered cement screed floor, they define the basic character of these interiors. Furthermore, the finish is simple yet stylishly designed and realized, whereby the characteristics of a robust industrial past go hand in hand with a modernist interior of art and design fittings.
One of the involved clients is the photography duo Scheltens & Abbenes. They make both autonomous work for cultural institutions and commissioned work for a variety of international companies, in a world ranging from product design to fashion. The special finish of the interior of their residential house and studio was realized in collaboration with several of their clients, such as Delta Light, Farrow & Ball, Scholten & Baijings and Muller Van Severen. The use of fixtures and furniture, paint and wall tiles from these ‘partners’ with a simple yet sophisticated light and colour scheme gives the interior an extra dimension.
In addition to the existing constructions, the robust custom made front doors, stairs and kitchens, and the furnishings with personal items and autonomous work by the photographers themselves, give this interior a unique quality and transform it into a truly ‘gesamtkunstwerk’.
Product Description. The original, raw constructions of the barns have remained visible. These constructions consist of a steel structure; the roof and first floor in existing wood boards; external walls in concrete bricks. Existing and new facade openings designed with a combination of wooden window frames and industrial-like steel doors. Together with the new plastered metalstud walls and a plastered cement-screed floor, these define the basis character of these interiors.