August 3, 2020

Amsterdam Graphic Design Studio Thonik Customizes HQ Facade

The team at Thonik—an Amsterdam-based graphic design studio—is no stranger to the creation of memorable patterns; they had never designed one for a building façade however. This summer the collective’s founders, Nikki Gonnissen and Thomas Widdershoven, inaugurated their new six-story headquarters located on the only postwar boulevard in central Amsterdam after a 12-year-long journey spent overcoming bureaucratic hurdles. Widdershoven, who designed the building in collaboration with Arjan van Ruyven of MMX Architecten, gave it expansive floor-to-ceiling windows designed to “bring the outside in” and a playful monochrome pattern of gray and white stripes. The inside features raw concrete ceilings and walls, a dizzying internal staircase, and furnishings and collaborations of notable and innovative Dutch designers and brands.

The carpet in each room features a past project by Thonik. The above pattern is based on an invitation the collective created for an exhibition at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 2007. Photography courtesy of Ossip. 
Floor-length curtains by Dutch brand Vescom—designed in collaboration with Dutch designer Bas van Tol—frame the large windows and soften the raw concrete ceilings and floor. The red poufs are by Dutch designer Richard Hutten, who designed the collective’s first studio space. Photography courtesy of Ossip.
An acoustic wall is covered in a wax fabric by Dutch company Vlisco, which caters to the West African market. This mesmerizing cellular pattern is by Dutch designer Simone Post. Photography courtesy of Ossip.
The table is from a series called ‘no sign of design’ by Richard Hutten and was his graduating piece at Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) in 1993—the same year Widdershoven and Gonnissen graduated from art school. The modular kitchen is from the now discontinued M-System series by Boretti. Dutch designer Bart Guldemond designed some extra elements for it. Photography courtesy of Ossip.
The internal staircase climbs seven stories from the ground floor to the rooftop. Conceived to reflect and play with the graphic lines on the façade feature, its plywood sides feature a dynamic pattern of milled stripes designed by Dutch collective Envisions. The pattern is slightly different on every sheet. Photography courtesy of Ossip.
Dominating the interior are the floor-to-ceiling windows and the big city views. Since Thonik wanted the building to be a pure grid of windows and walls with lines, some smaller windows (pictured here) with shutters that maintain the façade’s pattern on the outside, were created to let fresh air in. Photography courtesy of Ossip.
The building façade features a recyclable compressed laminate cladding made in the Netherlands called Trespa that is not commonly used in contemporary architecture. The pattern references the trilinear Mexcellent font created for the Mexico Olympics in 1968. Photography courtesy of Ossip.

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