i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters'
 

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters'

built in 1788, felix meritis boasts a rich history since the age of the enlightenment as one of amsterdam‘s hotspots for culture and creativity. thanks to a recent renovation by i29, this historic setting has now been interwoven with a contemporary interior design that harks back to the building’s original use, with each space in the new scheme referring to a specific time period in it’s history.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

entrance

all images courtesy of i29 

 

 

located on amsterdam’s keizersgracht, felix meritis was built for a society of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and thinkers. five different departments were housed in one building; music, commerce, literature, physics and drawing. commissioned by investment group amerborgh, i29 has taken inspiration from the original use to create a diverse program of unique spaces – or ‘collection of colorful characters’ – just as in 1788 when each department was given its own interpretation.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

concert hall

 

 

the building has been completely renovated in collaboration with a large team of specialists and advisers; new installations and acoustic facilities have been carefully inserted within the monumental shell. math architects was responsible for the architectural part and structural renovation. the plan is based on the restoration of the original building contour, whereby the necessary installations are completely hidden by a new lifted roof. in contrast to the existing classical environment, new interventions and finishes by i29 in the interior are clearly recognizable, bringing the building into present day.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

colonnade

 

 

the entrance area includes a restaurant and reception which are modern interpretations of style rooms from the 18th century. i29 applied original colors and wall coverings, yet produced with contemporary techniques. for the restaurant, an image of a typical dutch sky has been translated into a tactile wall covering. in the reception area, an old etching from the original teekenzaal shows on the textile walls. i29 collaborated with buro belen for custom design textiles which match material and colors within the design. a light installation connects the two rooms to create a grand entrance as a modern ‘chandelier’ from the ceiling. LED signage is incorporated behind a large mirror wall for information on the program. the same mirror information screens with interactive LED signing have been placed throughout the building.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

shaffyzaal

 

 

the concert hall, famous for acoustic concerts, 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. flexible wall units can be opened or closed for sound absorption or reflection, and now make both acoustic and electronic music possible. they also provide in technical, light and sound facilities. both a classical concert and a house party are now possible, as the building must ultimately be a vibrant culture house for both the young and the old.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

shaffyzaal

 

 

the zuilenzaal has its own unique character within the building; i29 proposed to preserve the raw character as much as possible. the room is, however, almost invisible, completely prepared for the future with the integration of all necessary technology, lighting and installations, but the history is still overwhelmingly present. in the shaffyzaal 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. a modern interpretation is the use of intense and high-contrast colors on acoustic walls. along with matching pieces of custom design furniture and a bar area cladded with rough steel sheets.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

shaffybalkon

 

 

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, a former office space at the time of the political party CPN, has undergone a complete metamorphosis and has been transformed into a colorful ‘garden room’ executed in fresh colors and flooded with natural light by a large new skylight. this space will function as a lounge during larger events, but – like all other halls – it can be used fully flexibly for the rental of parties, conferences, debates, television recordings, theater and dance performances, meetings and more.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

teekenzaal

 

 

the koepelzaal and attic have been restored to their former glory, with it’s original wooden beam construction. new additions have been kept as simple as possible to emphasize the existing quality of the space. the general corridors and connection spaces are finished in neutral white and gray tones as a connecting element with the iconic staircase in the center. the enormous diversity in programming requires a layout in which all rooms can be converted fully flexibly and quickly. in particular, finding a suitable stackable chair was very important because it is used in all halls. i29 ultimately designed a chair especially for felix meritis that meets all requirements; stackable, comfortable, light, and in terms of appearance matching the monumental environment of felix meritis anno 2020. chair ‘felix’ was developed in collaboration with lensvelt.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

teekenzaal

 

 

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. in line with the original philosophy of the felix meritis society, the new interior is progressive but made with respect for it’s history. a new chapter of the cultural house for the curious mind.

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

huslylounge

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

huslylounge

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

koepelzaal

i29 renovates a historic building in amsterdam with a series of 'colorful characters' designboom

stairs

 

 

project info:

 

project name: felix meritis

location: amsterdam, the netherlands

design: i29

 

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

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
506,220 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine