Interior Design – Built in 1788 along the iconic Keizersgracht canal, Felix Mertis has always been a house for curious minds. The building was the home of the Felix Mertis society of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and intellectuals during the Enlightenment. The palace also hosted the offices for one of Amsterdam’s leading printing companies, the HQ for the Dutch Communist Party and it also became the popular avant-garde Shaffy theatre in 1960. Today it is an important cultural events venue.
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“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.” Explain at Dutch design studio i29. “The starting point was to show diversity and to give all rooms their own identity. Together they form a collection of colorful characters.”
The reception area invites visitors to lounge in a modern interpretations of style rooms from the 18th century. Emerald poufs and furniture with reflecting surfaces populate the space. On the walls a green wall covering depicts an antique etching found in the palace. For the restaurant, an image of a typical Dutch sky has been translated into a tactile wall covering with swathes of blue and pink.
The Concert Hall is finished in original color schemes which regained a classical appearance. Large steel chandeliers and acoustic wall cabinets places the interior in the present at the same time. The flexible wall units can be opened or closed for sound absorption or reflection. The foyer features blue ombre walls, cherry-red chairs and burnished-steel fixtures.
In the Shaffyzaal room all colors and materials refer to the illustrious sixties and Dutch artist Ramses Shaffy, when the room served as a meeting place for the Dutch avant-garde. Intense and high-contrast colors on acoustic walls dialogue with custom design furniture and a bar area cladded with rough steel sheets.
The interior of the Teekenzaal refers to the former atelier which was located here, with large “sheets of paper” hanging from the ceiling for acoustics and a graphic floor pattern. The Huslylounge has been transformed into a colorful “garden room” executed in vibrant yellow hues and flooded with natural light by a large new skylight.
The attic have been restored to their former glory, with it’s original wooden beam construction. The general corridors and connection spaces are finished in neutral white and gray tones.
For the the hall, i29 proposed to. i29 has also teamed up with Lensvelt to create the ‘Felix’ custom chair: stackable, comfortable, light, the seat matches the monumental environment of the venue.
All photos by Ewout Huibers – courtesy of i29.