Iconic Facades by Studio Job


Artists Studio Job have created a series of ornamental concrete reliefs for a new building complex in Amsterdam.

Called Iconic Façades, the project involved designing more than fifty different tableaux to sculpt the facades of a five-building project by Köther Salman Koedijk Architecten.

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The tableaux feature a wide variety of scenes including depictions of animals, machinery, sports, tools, clockwork, floral themes and religious allusions.

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Made of cast concrete, the reliefs cover nearly 800 square metres in total.

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Previous Dezeen stories about Studio Job:

The Gospel 2
The Last Supper
Paper Side Table and Screen for Mooooi
The Gospel
Silver Ware for Bisazza
Robber Baron
Bold at Designhuis, Eindhoven
Studio Job for Bisazza
Home Work

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Photos are by Jannes Linders and Roos Aldershoff.

Here's some more information from Studio Job:


Iconic facades by Studio Job

In Amsterdam, Studio Job designed and produced over 50 compositions for ornamental reliefs casted in concrete tableaus.

These are integrated in the facades of a new five building complex. The tableaus are composed in a sophisticated way and cover up to 800 m2 (24 000 ft2).

"For this project we have chosen for an universal iconography that appeals to the multicultural background of this specific block.

In floral ornaments you can see petrified flower boxes while the animal tableaus can make you think of The Arch of Noah.

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Other ornaments picture machines, clockworks and sports, referring to the imagery of socialism.

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Sometimes the ornaments are very classicistic and strict, in other cases it seems as if everything has been thrown on a chaotic heap". - Nynke Tynagel and Job Smeets

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"Studio Job realized this project beyond expectations. For each building of the complex, they have designed sparkling compositions, depicting many scenes that await to be discovered. Also the sharp and clear reliefs show the perfect craftmanship for which Studio Job stands.“ - dir. Gabi Prechtl (Kunst en Bedrijf)

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Iconic Facades 2009
design Studio Job
commission Far West / urban district Slotervaart Amsterdam
consultancy Kunst en Bedrijf
architect Köther Salman Koedijk Architecten
location Jatopa, corner of Jan Tooropstraat and Jan Evertsenstraat, Amsterdam

Posted on Thursday October 1st 2009 at 12:26 am by Sarah Housley. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Oh such beautiful derangements. Loopy and delightful and full of excellent oddness and subversion and WIN.

  • booh

    Charming, but cheeky.

  • Theo

    Could this be the end of the war against ornament in architecture?
    Has Aldof Loos finally been defeated?

  • graeme

    Fantastic. Contemporary ornament is back.

  • Alain de Botton

    Beautiful – an intelligent return to ornamentation

  • Rob van Veggel

    The pics of these reliefs make great desktop wallpaper!

  • oh shit! I used to live around the corner from there and i hate it will all my guts! knowing that it is from JOB doesn’t make it any better. The building is placed in an area of very honest 50ies social housing build with all the restraints of after the war development. Of course those buildings are torn down now, because material wise they are just worn out. But this 1920ies art deko retro spirit with a rigid window grid as answer to light open social housing…
    “Decoration on a building is like lipstick on a gorilla.”
    “Ornament und Verbrechen”

  • Davide

    I like a lot the analogy with the architecture of the Amsterdam School; not so sure aboutthe message though..

  • m

    the reliefs are great!

  • really interesting development for dutch architecure!

  • testek

    i dont see anything iconic in this work. post-war germay is stuffed with that kind of architecture.

  • The contemporary art of decoration.Some times we need to cross all odds to maintain the buildings. But still maintenance needs hell of a lot of efforts!

  • designgurunyc

    To me these reliefs already look old fashioned. Studio Job has been using this type of design for too long now and needs to move forward . The ‘dutch’ esthetic of conceptual design is now losing the war (thankfully) to a more utilitarian future.

  • Pach

    Louis Sullivan’s organic ornaments

  • Jonathan

    I’ve visited the area a few times before but I haven’t seen this project in it’s finished state yet. What I can say though is that it looks many times better than the post-WWII dreadfulness pervading the area. But! Interior-wise those fugly buildings are really quite nice. I’m thinking it’s really not hard to have the best of both worlds; a beautiful exterior and a light, harmonious interior. Rocket science it ain’t!
    I’m really liking the use of ornaments in this context. I love how the otherwise sterile rigidity has been softened-up a quite a bit by the decorations. People need to understand that since this is a residential area, having austere, brutalist boxes (or odd, multicolored, conceptual zaniness) all around you would not be very conducive for fostering a warm and cozy atmosphere (highly necessary for effective community-building).

  • John M

    Sullivan revisited. Very nice