Apartment in Amsterdam
Friday 15 Aug 2014


Japanese studio MAMM Design have renovated a duplex unit in an 85 year old housing block for a family of four. On relocating to Amsterdam, MAMM's clients found that they were unaccustomed to the often overcast weather, so their main request was to have as much sunlight as possible in the house. They also wanted a space in which they could easily interact with each other.

The house had a skylight at the top of its staircase, connecting the upper and lower floors but with stairs and walls that prevented the light entering other parts of the house. MAMM decided to remove the offending stairs and walls, as well as a part of the upper floor. This allowed light to stream through the skylight across the whole house. Removing the walls between rooms to make an open plan living area also worked to connect the family in daily life.

A symbolic tower-shaped element stands through the house, in which kitchen, bathroom and toilets are located in order to utilise existing water pipes. The ceiling in the bathroom on the lower floor didn't need to be as high as the surrounding rooms, so this was lowered to create a sunken kitchen above - a key feature in the design. A new metal grid staircase climbs around the ‘tower', providing access to other areas in the house. This has provided comfortable circulation and spatial elements, giving the family a brand new space in which to enjoy each other's company.

MAMM Design