carbon studio + KUUB integrate a retail space inside a 12th century 'urban castle' in utrecht

carbon studio + KUUB integrate a retail space inside a 12th century 'urban castle' in utrecht

the interior of a 1000-year old building in utrecht, the netherlands, has been transformed into a new retail space for clothing brand COEF. in collaboration with KUUB, carbon studio has created a special shopping experience with a design that balances the historical architecture with contemporary interventions. the completed space is characterized by subtle combinations of unusual materials, textures, colors and shapes.

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entrance view: the circles on the ceiling beams form the theme for the functional interior elements, like carpet-grid, lamps, footwear wall and tables

images by maarten willemstein

 

 

located in drakenborch at the oudegracht 114 in utrecht, the original building was first constructed in the 12th century. this urban castle is the oldest residence of the netherlands and a national monument. due to its history, carbon studio and KUUB had to preserve the walls and ceilings. since they couldn’t change these surfaces, the design team decided to make the whole shop ’emerge from the floor’

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interior emerging from the floor

 

 

erecting the new interior from the floor up forms the base for the circular design motif. the shop is also designed so it can be easily dissembled. all the applied materials have a low environmental impact and are easy to recycle: untreated metal, recycled leather and marmoleum. the recurring visual and functional elements are formed in circles and spheres, in reference to the original beam paintwork.

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detail of the service area showing fixtures with integrated lighting

 

 

all the functional elements, like the electrical system and constructive base, are integrated into the floor. the marmoleum floor has a black steel grid carpet, and this explicit floor forms the aesthetic base for the shop interior. the circular shapes literally soften the steel system. the modular furniture elements are plugged into the floor. zones without grid carpet mark the main route and guide visitors to various spaces.

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1000 year old exposed sandstone wall

 

 

the store is composed of three spaces. the principal space is a varied landscape with street-lamps and four meter high furniture pieces in harmony with the architecture. a five meter high ‘sneakerwall’ – materialized as an inversion of the floor – marks the staircase to the sou-terrain and leads visitors to the basement vaults.

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fitting area and vertical sneaker wall

 

 

the ‘master lounge’ is an intense space with a special floor, fireplace, murals and roof construction. the middle counter has a mirrored top, reflecting the ceiling and murals. the murals narrate a romeo and julliet like story about the dispute between two reigning families, van drackenborch and van oudaen, who dominated both sides of the oudegracht in the 12th century.

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masters lounge with murals

 

 

in the dark and low basement vaults, mirrors, glass, white tiles and light lines create a contemporary spatial effect. arching lights accentuate the vault shape and the central island. in this space the colors stay raw, in line with the streetwear collection that is exposed here. the display island contains various glass layers and mirrors for a transparent and kaleidoscopic product presentation.

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vault shaped streetwear space

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detail of layered glass and mirror streetwear display

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all materials are easy to recycle: untreated steel, marmoleum, recycled leather and rattan

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detail of steel floor grid on linoleum base

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detail of illuminated spheres and historical ceiling beams

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detail of the vertical sneaker wall

 

 

project info:

 

name: COEF men premium

location: utrecht, the netherlands

design: carbon studio in collaboration with KUUB

photography: maarten willemstein

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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