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i29 Reinterprets Amsterdam’s Felix Meritis With Vivid Splashes Of Color

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Name
Project
Felix Meritis
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Words

Dutch interior architecture studio i29 has added a contemporary touch to the grand spaces of Amsterdam’s iconic Felix Meritis building. Putting history into vibrant perspective, the colorful revamp has transformed the 18th-century style rooms, merging historical allure with modern design sophistication.

Built in 1788, the building is located along one of the Dutch capital’s most well-known canals, the Keizersgracht. Now a cultural events venue, the palace was once home to a society of illustrious scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers which celebrated the ideals of the Enlightenment—an 18th-century intellectual movement that emphasized reason and science. Commissioned by investment group Amerborgh, i29 was tasked with the complete interior redesign of the space. Contrasting the building’s classic architecture, the firm gave the space a contemporary refresh with modern interventions, such as installations, acoustic facilities, and colorful finishes, including the use of textile wall coverings.

Contrasting the building’s classic architecture, the firm gave the space a contemporary refresh
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Inspired by the rich history of the building and intended to show diversity of aesthetics, each space embraces its original function, referencing how the building was divided into distinctive departments—music, commerce, literature, physics, and drawing. The reception area features a green-hued fabric wall and emerald-colored seating poufs. Textile walls are also found in the restaurant; their design showcases a stunning reinterpretation of a typical Dutch sky. Blue ombre walls, cherry-red chairs, and burnished-steel fixtures characterize the building’s domed foyer. Vivid yellow seating booths define one of the lounges, while marine-blue carpet and armchairs furnish the drawing room. The concert hall features walls in subdued tones, matching the original color scheme, and large steel chandeliers and acoustic wall cabinets. Here, black chairs designed in collaboration with Dutch furniture brand Lensvelt fill the room. Time-worn columns and wood paneling have been highlighted in one of the palace’s event rooms. General corridors and connections spaces are finished in neutral white and gray, as a reminder of the building’s classical appearance.

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All images © Ewout Huibers