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Felix Meritis Interior Renovation / i29

Felix Meritis Interior Renovation / i29

© Ewout Huibers© Ewout Huibers© Ewout Huibers© Ewout Huibers+ 55

  • Design Team Interiors:i29
  • Design Team Architecture:MATH Architecten
  • Clients:Amerborgh
  • Restoration:Verlaan & Bouwstra
  • Developer:Marcia Sookha
  • Management:B3 Bouwadviseurs
  • Contractor:Jurriens
  • Interior Builder:Stooff
  • Textile Design:i29 & Buro Bélen
  • Installations:Mega Elektra
  • Costruction:SIDStudio
  • Restauration Advisors:De Fabryck, Judith Bohan
  • Furniture:Lensvelt
  • Design Team Interiors:i29
  • Interior Builder:Stooff
  • Construction:SID Studio
  • Restauration Advisors:De Fabryck, Judith Bohan
  • City:Amsterdam
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© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers

Text description provided by the architects. This unique building on Keizersgracht was built in 1788 for a society of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers. It was a hotspot for creativity and cross-overs during the intellectual movement "The Enlightenment". Five different departments were housed in one building; Music, Commerce, Literature, Physics, and Drawing. Award-winning studio i29 made the interior design of Felix Meritis Anno 2020 commissioned by investment group Amerborgh. A distinct and charismatic design, inspired by the rich history of the building. Every space within the building refers to a specific period in the building's history.

© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers

The starting point was to show the diversity and to give all rooms their own identity, just as in 1788 each department was given its own interpretation. Together they form a collection of colorful characters in the house of enlightenment. The building has been completely renovated in collaboration with a large team of specialists and advisers; new installations and acoustic facilities have been carefully inserted within the monumental shell. MATH architects were responsible for the structural renovation. The plan is based on the restoration of the original building contour, whereby the necessary installations are completely hidden by a new lifted roof.  In contrast to the existing classical environment, new interventions and finishes by i29 in the interior are clearly recognizable as such, bringing the building to the present again.

© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers
Section
Section
© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers

Felix Meritis has known many famous inhabitants, such as the political CPN headquarters and the Shaffy theatre. It’s still counted as one of the most important listed monuments in Amsterdam. The new Felix Meritis experiments with programs for a curious audience. Drawing on the domains of technology, entrepreneurship, science, and art, with which the future is explored with a curious eye. Amerpodia programs four ‘cultural houses’ in Amsterdam, including the Rode Hoed, the Compagnie theater, De Nieuwe Liefde, and now also Felix Meritis. Together they make a substantial contribution to social and cultural life in Amsterdam.

© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers
Floor plan
Floor plan
© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers

The entrance area includes a restaurant and reception which are modern interpretations of style rooms from the 18th century. i29 applied original colors and wall coverings, yet produced with contemporary techniques. For the restaurant, an image of a typical Dutch sky has been translated into a tactile wall covering. In the reception area, an old etching from the original Teekenzaal shows on the textile walls. i29 collaborated with Buro Belen for custom design textiles that match material and colors within the design. A light installation connects the two rooms to create a grand entrance as a modern "chandelier" from the ceiling. LED signage is incorporated behind a large mirror wall for information on the program. The same mirror information screens with interactive LED signing have been placed throughout the building.

© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers

The enormous diversity in programming requires a layout in which all rooms can be converted fully flexibly and quickly. In particular, finding a suitable stackable chair was very important because it is used in all halls. i29 ultimately designed a chair especially for Felix Meritis that meets all requirements; stackable, comfortable, light, and in terms of appearance matching the monumental environment of Felix Meritis Anno 2020. Chair "Felix" was developed in collaboration with Lensvelt. The biggest challenge was to bring this old monumental building to the "now", not only in terms of technology, installations and acoustic facilities, but also in appearance and experience. In line with the original philosophy of the Felix Meritis society, the new interior is progressive but made with respect for its history. A new chapter of the cultural house for the curious mind.

© Ewout Huibers
© Ewout Huibers

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Project location

Address:Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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About this office
Cite: "Felix Meritis Interior Renovation / i29" 30 Apr 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/938550/felix-meritis-interior-renovation-i29> ISSN 0719-8884

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