Dutch Design (31): Design.nl

Design.nl is a blog about Dutch Design. Currently In Amsterdam we have the Inside Design Amsterdam event where the Lloyd Hotel is one of the primary locations. This is not about design of a hotel, but a hotel in design. Therefore an extensive quote.

Out of the sixteen rooms redesigned for Inside Design Amsterdam’s Lloyd Hotel metamorphosis project, Maaike Roozenburg and Scholten & Baijings are rumoured to be amongst those selected to stay.

There was a suggestion that they would like to keep my design permanent, says Maaike Roozenburg whose design stood out for its minimal intrigue.

The conceptual and clever element of contemporary Dutch design is high on humour, but can lack the sort of warmth and aesthetic beauty that make sleep environments comfortable.

For this project, however, Roozenburg fused a familiar no-nonsense Dutchness with a refined elegance that had the crowds at Wednesday night’s opening gasping.

For years Roozenburg has been collecting freight containers used to transport fruit and vegetables; the blue and brown boxes piled outside green grocer stores every morning. The boxes are made from plastic, which is patterned with industrial grids to maximize their stength. I like them because they are designed to be tough, not aesthetic, she says. “But somehow they are still very beautiful.

Inside the crates Roozenburg placed light bulbs and around them she wrapped a layer of filmoplast, a material that can best be described as half way between fabric and paper. “I found it at a needlework store for old ladies, she says. It is usually used in libraries to preserve manuscripts, but they use it to make their threads stronger.

In the center of the room Roozenburg constructed a simple, wooden four-poster bed with a flat ceiling that the lit boxes sit on. Draped haphazardly from the boxes are Italian-made ironing wires which power the globes.

The combined effect is of a fragile, almost Japanese, ambient light. Simple yet striking. I didn’t want it to be fussy, Roosenburg says. “There are no surprises. It just is what it is.

The room designed by Scholten & Baijings is another stand out and one that the Lloyd Hotel is likely to keep.

Carole Baijings together with partner Stefan Scholten transformed a drab basement room into a style room. It’s like in the old days, she says. “A room where everything is in the same style.

And their style is colour. Colour as object, texture and textile. Colour manipulated and contrasted with light and transparency.

The room is divided into three zones: a plush carpeted entrance with a white wall engraved in the pair’s new, signature grid-like pattern. When seen from a distance the wall has a tiled effect. The same grid was used to texture the small tabletops.

The second zone is a fully-opened dressing room with two massive cupboard doors that can be swung open at either end to create an entirely closed and private bathroom space.

The largest back section is the sleep zone where transparent and hand-dyed textiles literally dance with the natural light. A mirror covers the ceiling, but is tilted so cleverly avoids personal reflection while creating a sense of space.

The carpets and bed throws are made from 100% merino wool, hand dyed into shades of pink and green more vivid than natural fiber normally allows. It’s taken a lot of trial and discovery to make this possible, says Baijings. Draped around the four walls is a new fabric patterned in shades of pink that is sheer and looks fragile but feels tough.

We have created a sense of luxury using very subtle detailing and colour, says Baijings. And that’s really all this room needs because the details work as objects and decoration.

Inside Design Amsterdam at the Lloyd Hotel runs until 14th September

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