MW Residence year: 2007
This project is very dear to me, This couple gave me a huge chance to push limits across the board. And they are/where heroes to me, giving a 26year old eager young man like me a shot and doing so while giving me all the faith and creative space. As he’s no longer with us I still mourn his passing, To me they meant the world, giving me the chance changed my life. To you Ali, in full admiration I still think of you and few days go by that Alex doesn’t pop up in my thoughts, Impossible is Nothing indeed! And I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
The Project consisted of merging two apartments in a Monumental Amsterdam Canal-house. The challenge was two pronged, on one end the design pushed the limits on various levels. On the other end the renovation of a monument gives rise to endless rules and regulations. During the build we found substantial structural damage that needed addressing. I’ll include an article about that specific challenge.
We decided to cut the new apartment in two, the first floor holding kitchen and main-living, the second and up a private living, home-office and bedrooms. The first floor was designed with a grand round entrance hall. The double curved doors open to and inviting fanning-out space with the kitchen offset from the surrounding architecture on the left, The main staircase as pivotal point in the centre dividing the floor into its functional areas.
The Staircase is designed to flow with the upward motion yet its structural separation a third up hints at the difference between the main and upper floors. 1st floor space function besides main living is to receive friends and visitors versus the more private upstairs. The staircase’s outer angular circumference hugs closer to the existing square architecture where the curving base vocalises the motion. It’s a slow and gracious rise up and as Alex said he would sit in different places and it would seem to be a totally different look and feel. The challenge in this design came from the CNC-cut stainless steel sheets and how the design pushed the limit of the torque flexibility, Furthermore the heat produced during welding of a steel box always brings tensions from within the steel and it needed experts welding the four corners gradually. Last but not less essential was the fact that we could only hoist the piece inside while crock-screwing it in through the middle front window.
The kitchen was designed to fit snugly into its place while allowing for efficient space between the two sides. And ditto with the attached cantilevered breakfast table. The worksurfaces are made of Staron by Samsung, this material was quite new at the time and it is difficult to work seemingly seamless. The space between breakfast table and the joined worksurface flows up, therewith becoming non-functional and automatically keeping that area clean and clear. Choices like this one, simple yet efficiently guides the use, the result is clean lines that remain visible and peaceful. The lower wall-side of the kitchen grabs around the higher unit that seems to melt into the existing architecture and thus giving it roots in a sense. The exhaust hood was designed to fit its separate pieces in the dishwasher, lots of practical details.
The other furniture , furnishings and finishes were all designed to create a peaceful calm setup giving space for further personal styling by the client. I believe a good design always leaves ample space for personal touches, and it often takes time and living in a new place to slowly tweak and make it wholly your own.