Vivid splashes of colour interiors brighten our eyes as we enter in the renovated Felix Meritis building in Amsterdam. The work was presented by i29 design studio and it references the rich past of the mentioned structure, built-in 1788, situated in the Dutch capital’s Keizersgracht canal. An interesting curiosity is that, although the building serves as a cultural events purpose, previously it celebrated the ideals of Enlightenment – an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated Europe between the 17th and 19th centuries. CovetED will tell all about this historical and beautifully renovated building.
Over time the building served many purposes, including an office for one of Amsterdam’s leading printing companies and the HQ for the Communist Party of the Netherlands. Interesting to notice that in a certain time, it also was the Shaffy theatre, a popular haunt for avant-garde music enthusiasts. The building’s rich history was a huge inspiration point for the i29 studio, which, based on the past of Felix Meritis being linked to several areas, they assumed the use of colours to refer to the different areas the structure supported: music, commerce, literature, etc.
Always working close to the responsible, the studio said: “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.”
As we walk through each room, we inevitably realize that although there is a relationship between them, each one represents its unique identity. In the reception area, we find a green-hued fabric wall covering which references an antique etching that was found in the building’s drawing-room. In the restaurant, we can find textile surfaces of pink and blue colours that our visual codes automatically take as a sky. Another example is the contrasting mix of blue ombre walls with cherry-red chairs in the entrance meant to reflect the building’s past as a hotspot for unusual, avant-garde music.
With the most varied meanings and references, all the interiors were designed and remodelled in a surprising way, i29 studio didn’t forget the buildings past and that is one of the best strategies for this project success.
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