TAG: Amsterdam

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Bars

February 2 2009




For years now we've been hitting the pub with our mates - ordering pint upon pint of beer - and although many of us have a preference for a local brew or a dark malt or an amber, plenty of us have been quite happy ordering the old fallback, a green-necked Heine - and almost everywhere we go, from the smallest desert roadside watering holes to the cosmopolitan lounges and clubs, we can almost be certain Heineken will be available.  



So how does a brand, which is recognised worldwide, reengage its consumers and reinvent its story? The US-based BRC Imagination Arts, one of the world's leaders in experiential marketing, has developed the New Heineken Experience - an interactive journey through the history of the brand and the brewing process. The experience is housed in the former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam.



Visitors to the restored brewery push their senses to the extreme as they see, smell, touch and taste everything that goes into the production - brewing and bottling Heineken beer. A special effects ride allows visitors to immerse themselves into the entire process from conception to completion with interactive exhibits as well as interpretive graphics. With the New Heineken Experience, the company hopes to develop renewed, enduring and personal connections with those of us who have always loved Heineken. - Andrew J Wiener




 

Offices

December 7 2009

Maurice Mentjens Design, based in Holtum, the Netherlands, continues to delight and draw attention with its imaginative work. We have featured a couple of their store projects here and here, but this time, we are fascinated by the studio/office/production facility they designed for PostPanic.


 
PostPanic is a creative design and animation studio, but it is also a production company that animates, produces and directs its creations in-house. PostPanic produces mainly commercial projects for the international advertising, retail, broadcast and music industries. Clients include Nike, MTV and Coca-Cola.

When PostPanic decided to move to a new large facility located in Westerdoksdijk, a new high-density  district in Amsterdam, it commissioned Mentjens to come up with interiors that would accommodate the various production and design teams, and also be flexible enough to suit a staff whose numbers can fluctuate from 14 to 40 depending on the workload.


 
Mentjens used the distance between the massive concrete columns as the defining theme of the space’s other dimensions. The production room, meeting room and staff room are all as wide as the distance between two columns, and the studio on the mezzanine level is two spans wide.


 
The overall feel of the space conjures up thoughts of a retro space-age station, or perhaps a secret-agent facility for a very important mission. There is a sense of industrious, “we mean business” attitude in the entire facility with delightful touches of color and fun treatments — sky-blue ceiling, red-and-gold paisley wall — to lighten up the gravity. We especially love the pod-like boardroom that resembles an interrogation chamber on a space ship headed to somewhere far, far away. - Tuija Seipell

Photography - Arjen Schmitz

Architecture

November 3 2011

Villa Veth is a modern, customized villa, a private residence for a family of four. It is situated on a large parcel of land by a forest near the idyllic town of Hattem in the eastern part of the Netherlands.


 
The house itself and the mostly customized furnishings were designed by Liong Lie of the Rotterdam-based 123DV.


 
Although the structure from some angles resembles today’s favorite and by now highly overused form – long, narrow boxes situated at odd angles – the design of this villa manages to avoid that cliché by locating only one floor above ground. The result is a classic, modern residence that functions well for the family inhabiting it, yet looks like it could have existed since the 1950s.


 
The ground floor and principal living area of the two-storey residence is divided into two. On one side are the master bedroom and two kids’ bedrooms -- all with separate bathrooms -- plus two small studios.


 
The other half –the south-facing side -- of the floor plan is taken up by an open-concept living area that includes the kitchen, dining and living spaces. One wall of the living area is constructed of frameless curved glass, enabling a seamless connection with the outdoors.


 
In addition, this space opens up to a vast, unadorned terrace or platform, part of which is covered and equipped with floor heating. The first floor also includes a small separate play and TV-room, a laundry and a tiny powder room.


 
The total floor surface area of the residence is 475 square meters (about 5,113 square feet). 123DV is an architectural firm that specializes in modern villas and supervises the entire construction process. Tuija Seipell

Food

October 27 2010

In Amsterdam's restaurant scene, the names of Bert van der Leden, Douwe Werkman and Rob Wagemans pop up constantly, and usually all together. Werkman and van der Leden wield their influence through IQ Creative, a restaurant and hospitality conglomerate that is best known for the Supperclubs around the world, but also operates Witteveen, Nomads, Vyne, Envy and Nevy in Amsterdam.



For interior, architectural and conceptual creative output, they turn most often to Concrete of Amsterdam, a 25-member company founded in 1997 by the 37-year-old Wagemans. Concrete is a kit of three companies: Concrete Architectural Associates (architecture, design concepts), Concrete Reinforced (urban design) and Models+Monsters (scale models).



The prolific gentlemen's latest cooperation is Mazzo. It is a cool reincarnation of a notorious disco in a strange and ugly building on Rozengracht. The building may be odd but not that unusual in Amsterdam. Its spaces of varying heights and widths could have posed a problem, but for Concrete, they offered an opportunity to create an inviting yet industrial-feeling atmosphere and a place that is flexible without seeming temporary.



Mismatched chairs, exposed brick walls, rough wooden shelving, sepia-toned images and GUBI and MOOOI lighting manage to give the mismatched spaces a cozy sense of an impromptu meeting place where moms could meet for lunch and moguls could convene for an important deal. - Bill Tikos

Offices

December 2 2011

After several months of construction, Red Bull’s Dutch subsidiary, Red Bull Netherlands, has settled into its new  headquarters on the North side of  Amsterdam’s Port area. The almost 1000 square-meter (about 10,763 square feet) office is part of the 7800 square-meter (83,958 square feet) Media Wharf complex at the NDSM Wharf, on the shores of the river IJ.



The office was designed by Sid Lee Architecture of Montreal and Amsterdam. The theme of the space is duality and polarity -- reason and intuition, light and dark, art and business, public and private.

Much of the space is undefined, seemingly unfinished, with a feel of street culture and the rough edges of the shipyard’s past echoed in the design.



Red Bull Netherlands’s director Jan Smilde was quoted as saying that the company wanted a location with an entrepreneurial spirit where they would have the freedom to develop innovative ideas and events.



Established before WWII, NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij – Dutch Dock and Shipbuilding Company) was one of the world’s largest shipbuilders. It continued to operate until the mid-1980s, after which the shipyards were deserted except for squatters and artists who established a “breeding ground” of emerging artist there.



This area, the size of 10 football fields, has now been developed into an artistic and media hub, with studios and workshops, offices, open spaces, student housing, festival venues and restaurants. More here in English.



Perhaps we are overly practical here at TCH, but we could not help but wonder what Red Bull’s heating bill for this space is in the cold Dutch winter months. - Tuija Seipell

Stores

October 1 2012



In the past few years, forerunners in the niche hospitality business have been tripping over each other in their attempts to create the next “un-hotel.” Their goal has been to take the mind-numbing sameness of resorts and big hotels, and the litany of empty and unbroken service promises, out of hotel stays by creating unusual overnight accommodation and unexpected twists.


 
Many are geared toward the in-the-know frequent traveller who appreciates design, art and pop culture. Themed rooms, completely personalized hotel stays, unexpected common areas, unusual pairings of boutiques, restaurants, art and rooms have all resulted from this un-hotel wave.


 
Two weeks ago, people who love all things Droog gained their own example of this. They now have yet another reason to fly to Amsterdam as they now can stay the night – if they are extremely lucky - at Hôtel Droog’s singular guest room.


 
Hôtel Droog is the Droog brand’s first foray into the hospitality business, if that’s what this emporium of fashionably cool shops should be called. It is perhaps more like a funky little department store and less like a hotel.
 
Drawn in by the mid-century modernist Scandinavian undertow, guests of Hôtel Droog are in for much more than overnight accommodation. The hotel part of Hôtel Droog is more of a clever afterthought than the main attraction as it consists of only one suite, located on the topmost floor of the 17th century building, the former home of the city’s textile guild.
 



In addition to the guest suite, the 700 square meter (753 sq.ft) space that is Hôtel Droog includes, in an all-white casings, a Droog store offering the staples by the Droog designers, a fashion store K A B I N E T created by Amsterdam-based Ferry van der Nat, a Cosmania cosmetics boutique and also a product display area for Weltevree.


 
Resting from their spending spree, guests without the privilege of a suite upstairs can rest in the dining room or in the fantastic garden created by Claude Pasquer and Corrine Detroyat, the darlings of the Chaumont Garden Festival. We bet the Hôtel Droog concept has staying power and we envision additional suites, possibly in the nearby buildings. - Tuija Seipell

Architecture

May 22 2013

It helps to have a strong understanding of dramatic interiors when tackling the potentially intimidating task of restoring a massive, 17th century Amsterdam canal residence AND re-imagining it as a functioning modern residence for a busy, fun- and art-loving four-member family.

Interior architects Sigrid van Kleef (38) and René van der Leest (40) of Amsterdam’s Studio R U I M had what it took to strike that seemingly impossible balance: Their background in theatre and opera set and costume design, as well as in restoration and interior design of contemporary homes.



Their priority was to respect and celebrate the heritage and character of the Herengracht canal house built originally in 1666 for a successful Amsterdam merchant, Abraham Muyssart.



Equally important was to not make the residence feel like a museum but instead, allow it to express the current residents’ own lifestyle and interests, of which photography was a significant one.



The resulting 400 square-meter home includes three living rooms, five bedrooms, two kitchens, two bathrooms and a 200 square meter garden. 



One of our favorite features is the massive, black ornamental steel frame in the living room ceiling. It speaks the visual language of centuries-old mouldings yet makes a bold contemporary statement and creates a lovely contrast to the daintier visual elements in the space.



We love the use of wood: panelling, staircases, exposed in ceilings and in framing. The kitchen is a particularly cool combination of traditional and modern. The walls are dominated by vast restored paintings depicting views of the river Vecht and framed in their original wood frames.



Countering this are the super-modern counters, bench and especially the custom-designed (by Studio RUIM) industrial-scale copper light fixtures.



All this juxtaposing is a demanding balancing act but RUIM has managed to tie it all together with a bold sense of drama, yet they have also induced a feeling of fun, lightness, serenity and comfort avoiding the trying-too-hard, melodramatic solutions that would have been easier and predictable. - Tuija Seipell.

Photography: Daniel Nicolas

Art

July 10 2014

In March 2014, Particia Derks’s work turned heads at TCH - The Art Hunter experience in Sydney. The penetrating eyes, arresting colors and the sheer size of her original portraiture paintings are all attention-grabbers in  themselves. Combine the three and you’d have to be dead to not stop and notice.

We have selected two of the Netherlands-based artist’s original works. Both paintings are head-and-shoulders images of a female, executed in muted pastel colors with striking, strong eyes and bright-colored lips. The images are direct, somewhat aggressive but at the same time, there’s a sense of sadness and secrecy – there’s room for us viewers to make up our own minds about what the subject is feeling and why.

A great piece of art does that – it leaves enough undefined, so that we can come back again and again, day after day, and find our thoughts shifting once more.

Purchase here

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