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