Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design
features a sunken kitchen


Japanese studio MAMM Design has lowered the kitchen of this apartment in Amsterdam to fit a mezzanine under the steep roof of an 85-year-old housing block (+ slideshow).

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

MAMM Design renovated the top two floors and attic space of a five-storey building for a family of four, who weren't used to the temperamental Dutch climate.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

"Since they have not been brought up in Amsterdam where they have a lot of gloomy weather, their request was to have maximum sunlight in the house," said the architects.

MAMM Design thought that the skylight positioned over the staircase wasn't being used to its full potential, so the circulation area was relocated to allow the light to filter down through an atrium into the rest of the apartment.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

"We took away the stairs, walls and a part of the upper floor's slab, so that the sunlight can spread all over the house," the architects said.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

A stack to one side of the plan was created to group together rooms requiring water services, including the bathroom and kitchen.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

The ceiling in the bathroom on the bottom floor didn't need to be as high as the surrounding rooms, so it was lowered to create a sunken kitchen above.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

This in turn allowed for a mezzanine level on top of the kitchen, high up in the rafters.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

The new metal grid staircase wraps around the back of the stack, with planters hung from mesh balustrades painted white.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

On the upper level, an open-plan living and dining area surrounds the kitchen – where the sink and countertops are raised just above the floor – and large windows and doors open onto a decked terrace.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

The enclosed mezzanine is used as a play area for the children, who can clamber over and under a ceiling beam that runs through the centre of the room.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

This space is accessed through a square window via a freestanding wooden ladder.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

Two bedrooms are located on the lower storey, along with a workspace, a family room and the laundry area.

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design

Surfaces are painted white across both levels and a beige carpet covers all of the floors outside of the stack.

Photography is by Takumi Ota.

Project credits:

Architects: MAMM Design
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Architects in Charge: Akira Mada, Maya Mada
Area: 133.7sqm
Structural Engineers: STRUCTURE engineering
Lighting Design: LIGHTDESIGN
Main Contractor: Smartinterior

Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design
Floor plans – click for larger image
Apartment in Amsterdam by MAMM Design
  • Guilherme Ferraz

    They obviously don’t have a dog if they have a sunken kitchen.

    • Richard Montena

      So what does having a dog have to do with a sunken kitchen?

  • VanDog

    Sunless wife-prison for your favourite domestic slave.

    • Richard Montena

      Oh puleeze!

  • villainesta

    A step ladder for the kids to access the mezzanine? That is approaching criminal negligence.

    • Richard Montena

      Very typical in Japan.

  • Critics should take note that this Amsterdam apartment was designed for a Japanese family with Japanese sensitivities. Japanese people tend to sit on the floor and the sunken kitchen would bring those standing in the kitchen to their level.

  • Z-dog

    Ambitious use of a tight site – looks wonderful. The ladder to the mezzanine is pretty crazy alright though I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just for the architectural photos.

  • Vigarano

    Three comments so far, three haters.

    1. Guilherme, it seems they DON’T have a dog, coz it ain’t in the photos, and the rest of the family appears to be. So no worries there.

    2. VanDog, you obviously spend most of your time cooking lunches under airy skylights. The rest of us spend the bulk of our time in the kitchen after the sun has gone down. Looks like a comfortable and well-laid out workspace in which I would enjoy spending a lot of time.

    3. villainesta, you gotta let ’em fly the nest at some point. Start ’em off the first rung of that stepladder, and if they survive, set them on the second rung. Before long, they’ll be soaring like eagles. Seriously, stepladders? Criminally negligent? Let loose the reins a little bit. We’re choking.

    Looks like a lovely place.

    • Richard Montena

      I agree Vigarano.

  • Jonas

    There has to be a no shoes policy with this cozy metal wired staircase to the upper floor.

  • Marcus Des

    Anyone who knows Dutch winters will avoid this minimalist fridge. Because there is no way to heat this place. Still… the family might huddle together in the impractical kitchen.

    • Bob

      That or a crazy high utilities bill and constant updraft of warm air rising from the lower levels.

  • villainesta

    Flying is just what I am afraid might happen.

  • Marcus Des

    So sorry, but you are stereotyping Japanese people. As you can see in the photos there are lots of chairs and tables and you might conclude that this Japanese family is very much used to using those. And really, this apartment in the future is just going to be inhabited by Japanese people? Nope, for me this is just a short-term architectural statement, nothing user-friendly and nothing interior architecture about it.

    • The no-shoes policy and lots of empty spaces imply a tendency to sitting on the floor. I’m an Arab and I can relate! The family seems so content they even indulged a photo session. Whatever, you need to chill. Just because it’s not for you, no need to hate on it.

      • scot sims

        It appears if they wished to sit on the floor that their dishes would be placed on the floor itself. just as an animal would be fed. I trust you’re not in the habit of eating off the floor? Relax yourself.

      • Marcus Des

        I have just re-read my observations and have been able to confirm that I have not stated that I hate it. I like it as an architectural statement and I think it is not user-friendly and has therefore nothing to do with good interior architecture. But I’m pretty chill with you misinterpreting other’s comments.

  • A good way to keep your legs trained :)

  • I did not mention anything about how this family dines. But since you mentioned it, hundreds of millions of people eat while sitting on the floor in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Your derogatory remark is insulting to them, you should know better.

  • Tad

    The counter would be within reach of the dog.

  • nina

    I agree Vigarano.

  • Jelena Stojanovic

    I like it, very nice. Congrats.

  • alston nobel

    Very nice design.

  • Adi

    Beautiful and cosy!

  • Lachlan Major

    Anyone know the designer of that table? It’s hard to identify it clearly.