April 10, 2017

1950’s Bank in Rotterdam Becomes Sleek Studio of Kaan Architecten

Gijs Papavoine sofas, Jasper Morrison pendant fixtures, and original concrete structural columns in the lounge. Photography by Simone Bossi.

It was a good problem to have. Business was booming at Kaan Architecten. So much so that it needed larger quarters in Rotterdam. The former headquarters of the Dutch Bank offered an empty shell, to be configured as desired for the firm’s 75 employees.

The entry’s mosaic mural by Louis van Roode. Photography by Simone Bossi.

What wouldn’t change was the entry’s 1955 mosaic mural. Its muted tones established the office’s mate-rials palette of walnut and white-painted concrete. “Wood and concrete communicate in contrast,” founding principal Dikkie Scipio says. The warm-cool theme continues throughout the 15,000 square feet via such combinations as the butterscotch-colored leather on sofas set beneath simple Jasper Morrison pendant globes.

Models of past and current projects. Photography by Simone Bossi.

The firm’s own work is on display in key areas. A photomural showing a building for the Dutch supreme court rises behind the reception desk, and acrylic vitrines contain models of projects. Those models don’t, however, include an important current effort, a second studio opening this spring in São Paulo, Brazil.

> See more from the March 2017 issue of Interior Design

A 1955 bank built in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by Henry Timo Zwiers has become the studio of Kaan Architecten. Photography courtesy of the Dutch Bank.

Fritz Haller’s storage units stacked to form the reception desk. Photography by Simone Bossi.

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