Imagine meters-high walls and open spaces flooded with natural light in a dilapidated former ballet school in Amsterdam. A real fairytale for every architect and lover of modern architecture with a raw edge. In a so incredibly large, open, and light space, space dividers are essential to creating a warm, inviting home. And although the smaller rooms in this house are cozy and built with innovative designs—with smart solutions such as a rotating bookcase—the large living space does not feel too much. Yes, it is large and open, but a cozy, brightly colored settee, recurring oak elements, a coarse carpet, and various large indoor plants make it homely. It is a unique mix between a family space and a design statement.
Balance through space dividers
The balance that had to be found on the ground floor of this house is unusual and complicated. At first glance, the space is so overwhelming that it seems almost impossible to give it function. But behind every corner and door, you will find a cozy room, where low ceilings and oak furniture create a small oasis of peace. Architect Standard Studio: “It has become a beautiful family home with different levels. The height differences provide interesting viewpoints and connections between the spaces. Stairs and steps provide a logical routing.”
Around the corner next to the pivoting bookcase, you will find a study space and a conservatory that can be closed with harmonica doors behind the kitchen. In addition, also in the conservatory, stands a large family dining table. This space can be closed off from the study area thanks to a smart cupboard wall with a sliding door.
Room dividers can be designed in many ways. Pivot doors—a pivoting bookcase, in this case—are one of those ways. The FritsJurgens systems offer all kinds of options, from revolving cabinets to meter-wide pivoting walls. Discover the different systems and their unique features.
Grand, custom made gestures
The custom-made furniture in this home is essential for the experience of the space. Grand gestures are appropriate in an interior with so much light and air. Brandsing Meubelmakers manufactured practically every fixed piece of furniture:
“It completes the house. The kitchen island is the heart of the living room, and the pivoting cupboard separates the living room from the playroom. This way, the whole house has become one large piece of furniture.”
Furniture maker Frank: “The revolving cabinet was the best result. The nicest thing to do was the floor that ended in two flights of stairs and a bench. This work required a lot of detail. Our craftsmanship was put to the test. All corners mitred, a good running line for a staircase, a continuous staggered pattern between floor parts and their transition into vertical planes, stairs, and a seat. Very nice to make.”
Smart room dividers can be found all over the house, but the most surprising is the pivoting book- and TV-cabinet in one. Standard Studio: “One minute it acts as a home cinema, the other as an extra bedroom for friends who stay over.” The cabinet is functional on both sides: on one side is a television wall and on the other side a bookcase in which favorite books can be displayed as if it were an exhibition to admire. On either side of the cabinet is a hinged door that separates the room from the large, open living space when opened, hides the television when closed.
Brandsing Meubelmakers: “The ability to close and isolate areas allow for privacy and contemplation. Opening it gives light and space. It makes the spaces multifunctional. You prefer to have both of these in a home.”
The cabinet weighs about 200 to 250 kg and is almost 2 meters high. In its closed position with the hinged doors closed too, the cabinet is nearly 1.8 meters wide, and it is about 3.6 meters when opened. The cabinet pivots on FritsJurgens’ pivot hinge System 3 and a FritsJurgens top pivot with cable entry. This makes it easy to hide the TV’s wiring.
Discover more special applications of the FritsJurgens pivot systems in various doors.
Large spaces, playful details
What also makes the large space manageable are the small, smart details that you can rest your eye on. The black support beams on the ceiling, for example, are illuminated with a soft, warm glow that breaks through the harshness of the abundance of white. The beams’ color is reflected in the kitchen island and the kitchen’s cupboard wall and connects upstairs with downstairs. A plant dangles off-center from the lamp above the kitchen island. If it’s a coincidence that the plant hangs precisely in the middle of the kitchen island? Probably not. Standard Studio: “The house is simple in terms of materials. But the owner has a great style and made it personal with beautiful, special furniture.”
Finally, the round and natural shapes give the room the final homely push. Round sofas, round side tables, round lamps. Almost hidden round windows. And then a coarse white-blue hammock that hangs nonchalantly from the support beams, a curiosity that now looks as if it can be found in every Dutch living room. A playful detail that once again breaks the space.
The large, open space of this Amsterdam ballet school was transformed into a family home and made manageable with all kinds of smart applications and details. A revolving bookcase here, a multifunctional staircase there. You discover something new around every corner.
The room dividers are a crucial part of the home. They provide security where necessary and are all easy to use. They offer the opportunity to experience the spaces differently each time. The smaller rooms have become cozy and warm, while the large open space remains inviting. It has become an exceptional mix between a family home and a design statement that does justice to this unique building.