ClientEmma Wiseman and Nic Owen
Text description provided by the architects. Renovation and interior design of the first floor of a traditional residential building located in de Pijp, a neighborhood in the center of Amsterdam. Dutch residential architecture is characterized by deep and narrow spaces, thus creating a ‘through-flat’. This allows an apartment to have two main sides, connected to both the front and back of the building, hence two opportunities to relate to the exterior. One side faces a calm and narrow street of the charming capital of Holland, and the other side a magnificent interior courtyard of the building block and a private garden oriented to the west.
Prior to the renovation, this level of the apartment needed to be better organized. The aim was to optimize the use of existing rooms and to have a lot of storage space cleverly integrated into living areas. A strong connection to the exterior was always a key concept, to capture the wonderful view and to bring it all inside.
In the new design, all the spaces are mainly organized around the “oak heart”, a big shared walk-in closet, which communicates visually and spatially with both sides of the floor, the two main bedrooms, and the two exteriors. Upon stepping into this main furniture piece, the perception of being inside a completely wooden element is experienced, only disrupted by the overhead light. Both, the interior and exterior of this oak element are full of practical storage spaces, some of them hidden and unexpected.
The cubic core is sensitively touched by a metal framed glass corridor, which contains the entrances to all the rooms on this level, provides continuity and allows light to reach deep into the interior. Furthermore, the new design emphasizes the connection with the exterior with a complete opening at the back facade to the garden, mirroring the existing translucent extension on the ground floor.
The new design of the top floor radiates a neutral internal atmosphere created by the binomial contrast of white walls against the dark floor, which forms a timeless and uncommitted base composition. However the style is also determined by noticeable materials and textures, as oak is used for all the furniture pieces, and sophisticated matt black and brushed bronze elements are used for most of the details of the interior design. In the bathroom, warm wood, blue ceramic handcrafted tiles, and natural lava stone basins add calming and peaceful accents to this room, allowing the residents to focus on their body wellness in a relaxing environment.