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The loft apartment in Amsterdam designed by i29 interior architects is a haven of calm with its Japanese-inspired interior and very own lush in-house vertical garden. 

By Jeanne Tan / 28-01-2010

The design for the loft residence on the Singel canal in Amsterdam, begins from an open space where living functions have been concealed into freestanding volumes.

The clients, a Canadian-Japanese family approached i29 interior architects to design their Amsterdam apartment which is located in the loft of a former bank building. The lofty sense of the space is accentuated by 4m-high ceilings and a large open shell. In the words of the client: "We are inspired by traditional Japanese houses, stone country houses, modernist ideas, smart usage of space, modularity in design, unusual, rare objects, contrasts and contradictions. We love the feeling of spaciousness and would want to retain that and in some ways accentuate that. At the same time, we like the idea of intimacy, so finding the balance between space and intimacy is core."

The apartment is defined by two volumes placed at either end of the space. The kitchen volume doubles as a wardrobe and coat storage by the entrance while the combined master bedroom and bathroom unit accommodates storage and doubles as a room divider. In contrast to the stark whiteness of the rest of the apartment, the vertical garden, which relates to the integration of nature found in Japanese culture, creates an intense experience. A sculptural stair along the green wall leads to the roof terrace.

The limited palette of materials - walnut, aluminium, epoxy and glass - and concealed detailing generates an air of tension. "What I really like is that this house is a totally different project than our latest project Gummo office, (which was a winner in 'The Great Indoors Awards) but at the same time they have many similarities in them," says Jeroen Dellensen from i29. "In both cases, we brought two extremes together in one project. At Gummo it was second hand furniture finished in one and the same coating in a white space. What was left was a field of tension between these two opposites. And here again, we have a contrast between the minimal white seamless bathroom against this lush growing plantwall." 

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