Living room and double-height storage walls in Home of the Arts by i29

i29 designs Amsterdam home around owner's extensive art collection

Double-height shelving and custom glass vitrines create ample storage space in this Amsterdam apartment, which was designed by local studio i29 to accommodate the owner's vast collection of art and books.

Located in a former industrial area in the north of the city, the 180-square-metre apartment is on the second floor of a residential block and belongs to a writer and art collector.

Built-in double-height storage shelves in Home of the Arts by i29
Above: double-height storage walls divide the space. Top image: they include a mixture of cabinets and open shelving

Built in 2020, the apartment block was set up as a Collectief Particulier Opdrachtgeverschap (CPO), which means collective private commissioning. In the Netherlands, this is a form of social project development in which a group of individuals act as the client for a new-build project.

The building is developed as a group and each owner buys an empty shell. They can then design and build partitions in their own apartment according to their specific needs.

Green sofa with feature wall in Amsterdam apartment
A green couch anchors the open-plan living room

Local studio i29 was commissioned to create a custom interior that would showcase the owner's expansive personal library and an art collection of around 100 pieces.

"Having such a huge collection of artworks, our client wanted only one thing: to have the ultimate display and storage space," i29 told Dezeen. "We started making a programme of requirements and calculating the exact amount of shelving we would need."

Overview of Home of the Arts by i29
i29 created a mezzanine level to house two bedrooms

The designers were presented with an open loft space with double-height ceilings and no fixed layout.

On the ground floor, i29 created an open-plan space for the entrance area, kitchen and living room. A series of small sculptures are displayed on glass shelves in the kitchen, while larger artworks are placed up against the walls or mounted on them.

Open shelving displaying books and art in Amsterdam apartment
The apartment accommodates more than 100 artworks

A mezzanine level was inserted within the double height space, housing a bathroom, two bedrooms and an office.

Two custom-designed larch wood storage walls span the full height of the apartment and include a mixture of cabinets and open shelving. They help to create a visual connection between the two levels, while concealing an integrated staircase that runs up to the mezzanine level.

Kitchen and display shelves in minimalist Amsterdam apartment
The bespoke kitchen is finished in larch wood and matt grey HPL

The bespoke kitchen and all of the cabinets throughout the apartment are finished in a combination of larch and matt grey high-pressure laminate (HPL).

The floor is made from matching resin, as i29 wanted to keep the material palette deliberately neutral in order to let the art take centre stage.

"The stark and simple spatial interventions stand in contrast to the colourful pieces of art, balancing and supplementing each other," the studio explained.

Home office with book shelves in Home of the Arts by i29
The mezzanine also houses a home office

In a similar apartment project featured on Dezeen earlier this year, EBBA Architects used structural ash and pine joinery – including a staircase, mezzanine and double-height storage wall – to connect the levels within a refurbished, open-plan apartment in London.

Photography is by Ewout Huibers.

More images

Plans for Home of the Arts apartment in Amsterdam
Plans for the downstairs area
Plans for Home of the Arts apartment in Amsterdam
Plans for the mezzanine
Kitchen in Amsterdam apartment
The kitchen has shelving
Stairs and shelving in Home for the arts by i29
Stairs lead up to the mezzanine
Home for the arts apartment in Amsterdam
Storage shelves in home for the arts in Amsterdam