When Amsterdam’s Siersema Interieur, a design studio specializing in fabrics, needed an identifying look for its new riverfront offices, it turned to architectural firm Beyond Space.
“The space benefitted from high ceilings and lots of light, but frankly, was otherwise quite boring,” says Thom Uildriks, business development manager for Beyond Space. “We wanted to create intimate and distinct working spaces without pulling up a single wall, retaining the strengths of the location and its connection to the water. “
Taking inspiration from the river IJ, Amsterdam’s main river, Beyond Space sculpted the interior spaces from equidistant repeating drapes of a soft, semi-transparent fabric hanging from the ceiling, but cut at different lengths to allow for meeting space, an office area and a common area. The designers chose neutral, natural, semi-transparent curtains supplied by Danish company Kvadrat. The curtains—which consisted of a kilometer of fabric—were laser-cut to prevent fraying, and chord-weighted to guarantee just the right folds.
Installing the curtains posed several challenges. “We played around with different shapes and transitions, domes, bubbles, corridors and cubicles,” says Uildriks. “The biggest challenge we had was to get the distance between the drapes just right, something we tackled by making well over 50 3D renders.”
It was crucial to the design that the drapes didn’t touch the ground. When they did, the space felt oppressive and cave-like–not the effect Beyond Space was going for. “The spacing we settled on creates a space that is at once divided and fluid, intimate yet connected, cozy yet light,” says Uildriks.
DESIGN AND INSTALLATION
FABRIC SUPPLIED BY
One kilometer of natural, semi-transparent curtains