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BPD Burgerweeshuis Amsterdam

After a year and a half of transformation and restoration, approximately 225 employees of residential developer BPD moved to the former Burgerweeshuis on the IJsbaanpad in Amsterdam at the end of January 2018. The employees of the former head office, located in Hoevelaken since 1963 and those from the North-West regional office in Haarlem now working together in Amsterdam. The office is more than 5,000 m2.

The national monument, a design by Aldo van Eyck, has recently been transformed into a new office located at IJsbaanpad 1-5 near the Olympic Stadium. The building is one of the earliest examples of structuralist construction and counts as one of the most important post-war national monuments.

Architect Aldo van Eijck had especially designed playgrounds – more than 700 in Amsterdam alone – when he received the assignment for the Burgerweeshuis. It became a kind of spatial manifesto, a mirror of his ideas. Van Eijck’s architecture focuses on people and their perception of space. The Burgerweeshuis is a concatenation of square units with many vistas and squares, the building is a safe shell around an intimate interior space.
The one-and-a-half-year renovation that preceded BPD’s relocation can partly be seen as a reconstruction. In order to make the building meet the requirements of today’s requirements, renovation architect Wessel de Jong applied floor heating, an air-freshening system and a quantity of cables that would have been unthinkable in 1960. However, they are so cleverly hidden that nothing can be seen. In order to prevent the 328 concave domes in the roof of the building from functioning as a sound box, a thin layer of insulation material was applied and moody colored wall panels were placed.
All just as unobtrusive as the gray office furniture from Lensvelt, which is aptly named after the design of Space Encounters Boring, a design with a conscious RAL color gray which has received international awards and attention from 2016 onwards. So the original details are extra: kitchen corners with poffertjes stove, a concrete playground with diving racks and smile mirrors, and wooden storage cabinets.
Following AkzoNobel, which opened its Essential Art Space in 2016, and ABN Amro, which followed last year, BPD is the third company to have a publicly accessible exhibition space on the Zuidas. Two even. One is dedicated to the history of the building and has been renamed ‘treasure room’. The other is a relatively modest space, but the exhibitions that are made here – three per year – can fan out over other parts of the building. They also always have a link with architecture.
Lensvelt Contract collaborated intensively and productively with the architects of Ex Interiors and project manager Maarten Bosch from BDGM to deliver this project. The furniture supplied was from the Boring Collection, as well as other pieces such as the AVL Presidential Chair, CHTH coat racks and the AVL Office Chair, all in the same shade of grey to match the Boring items. This was supplemented with products from various international brands including Norr11 , Moduplus, Vitra, Artek, Arco, Carl Hansen, Nestor & Rocks, Danskina and Kinnasand carpets. Subsequently, in this building all the materials and colors are coordinated accurately and surprisingly.

Realization 2017-2018.
Architects: Ex Interiors, www.ex-interiors.nl
Project management: bosch sustainable building management, www.BDGM.nl
Photography: interior Roos Aldershoff, exterior Corné Bastiaansen

PRODUCTS USED IN THIS PROJECT

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Studio Job

Prime movers in contemporary applied art.

Soulmates Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel founded Studio Job in 2000. This studio in the Renaissance spirit is where traditional and modern techniques are combined to produce once-in-a-lifetime objects. In Studio Job, craftsmanship is more important than quantity and extreme designs take precedence over middle-of-the road options. Job Smeets: “We want to build up an oeuvre, not score a few hits.” Nynke Tynagel: “Our work is becoming increasingly expressive and our approach increasingly experimental.”

They started the studio after graduating from the Dutch Design Academy in Eindhoven; in the fifteen years since then, they have developed into the contemporary pioneers of personal expression. Technique, science and ornamental designs come together in Studio Job’s examples of Gesamtkunstwerk.

Job Smeets likes to call their style ‘New Gothic’, with perfectionism and uniqueness as its key features. Nynke Tynagel talks of a symphony orchestra where a cohesive piece of music is created from an abundance of different sounds. For a good twenty-five guilds are represented in Studio Job’s lab, from traditional craftsmen such as sculptors, furniture makers, painters and specialists in casting bronze or making stained-glass windows to modern professionals who are adept with lasers and 3D printing.

Works by Studio Job can be found in more than forty museums around the world. For Lensvelt they designed the Job Office series, stark and brightly colored pieces of furniture (and a lamp), all featuring striking accessories in gold.

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Maarten Van Severen

Lensvelt is producer of a substantial part of the collection of the Flemish designer Maarten Van Severen (1956 – 2005). His pieces are renowned and appreciated all over the world because of their unique materials, quality and finish. Van Severen died in 2005. He was a personal friend of Hans Lensvelt.

The collection of Maarten Van Severen has been officially launched September in Amsterdam, in the canal house of Lensvelt at Herengracht 178. The furniture was presented in a state-of-the-art 3D installation especially designed by OMA, the architectural firm of Rem Koolhaas.

Together, OMA, Maarten Van Severen and Hans Lensvelt have realised the interior of the Seattle Central Library and the Dutch embassy in Berlin. Van Severen has created several interiors for OMA, such as the Lemoine house in Bordeaux and Villa Dall’ Ava in Paris.

Van Severen designed his first furniture pieces in 1986 and established an independent workshop in Gent, where he pursued the limited, semi-industrial production of his own furniture designs.

This unified process of design and production was a fundamental aspect of his work over a long period of time, in which he devoted himself to the examination of basic furniture types: chair, table, chaise longue, shelving, cabinet. He developed primary solutions for these categories based on a comprehensive exploration of the questions of form, material and construction.

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Bertjan Pot

Bertjan Pot graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in 1998. He is known as one of the best designers of this time.

Pot is fascinated by materials and production processes. One of his best known designs is the Random Light.

For Lensvelt, Bertjan Pot designed the Beefeater, an ingenious table with “a bit of a mysterious shape”. The table is asymmetric and has a quirky frame which is assembled like a 3D puzzle.

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Musis Sacrum Arnhem

Since 1847 there has been constant activity in and around the Musis Sacrum, with the concert hall and the surroundings taking on a range of forms that reflect the needs of its operators, city officials and residents. The project consists of the renovation of the existing monument and the new extension with the great hall and supportive functions.

The decoration in the public space is remaerkeable: beautiful wooden wall finishings, especially the lamellar wall decorations with green color schemes are striking. With a golden brown sheen, they are in harmony with the colors of the park. In the large entrance, the beige Portuguese slate concrete forms a beautiful contrast with six black leather AVL Glyder Poufs of 400 * 70 cm.

Underground the material use is aligned to the building, with a lot of clean concrete, extremely sober and tight. But it is richly filled with special and recognizable furniture lines. The office spaces are filled with Boring Program and Stealth Cabinets in Boring Gray. The dressing rooms are equipped with black AVL Visit Chairs in leather, with matte black four-piece chassis made to measure. The common living areas are decorated with black PH1 bar stools and AVL Office Chairs around the copper tables.

Architects: van Dongen-Koschuch, www.vd-k.eu
Photographer: Bart van Hoek