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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sensitivity of ceramics enveloped in contrasts!

By Annie Aggarwal
Photography: Ewout Huibers; courtesy i29 interior architects
Read Time: 2 mins
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Interior architects, i29 curate a brand-new experience of the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics located in the European Capital of Culture, Leeuwarden.

To commemorate its 100th anniversary, the interiors of the 18th century monumental building have been transformed to increase its appeal and accessibility amongst visitors.

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i29 along with communications agency The Ambassador of Aesthetics employs the principle of ‘clear contrasts’ to create a contemporary but timeless interior for the museum as a place for inspiration and surprise. The simple and contemporary design interventions within and the contrasting monumental outer shell are juxtaposed to form a powerful and surprising whole, establishing the monument firmly in the here and now; not just functionally, but aesthetically and visually as well.

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Contrast in spatial hierarchy as well as spatial character throughout enhances the experience: a welcoming and contemporary entrance area opens to a flexible space accessible from both the front and back of a rather closed monumental building. This abundantly day-lit space features the museum store in tranquil grey tones to focus attention on the products and the contrasting tearoom, characterized by fresh and vibrant colours, opening into a public garden. The spaces, horizontally aligned are configured at varying levels, connected by steps and ramps; subtly hinting at layers of earth - the natural resource of ceramics. 

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Visitors are engulfed in a surprising metamorphosis as they make their way from the contemporary entrance area to the monumental museum square, which boasts subtle hand-painted wallpapers, structural members of the ceiling in dark green hues and sleek graphical information screens with incorporated seating elements. 

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The comprehensive museum collection of ceramics has been reorganised in germane spaces to achieve a coherent experience. Visitors are encircled by ceramics placed upon rows of simply-stacked brightly-lit white boxes in the mass production room, while a sense of awe and wonder takes over in the Art Nouveau room, offering a contrasting experience, as exhibited objects, isolated in a darkened room and on black shelves, appear to be ‘floating in the air’. Another range of ceramics finds abode in a space adorned with delicate oriental landscape wallpapers, while focused, standalone exhibits in monochrome rooms - red and blue, inspire wonder. 

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i29 interior architects create a unique and wonderful experience for visitors through the Princessehof museum. And that with rather limited financial resources. 

Fact File:
Client: The Princessehof Museum
Interior design: i29 interior architects: Jaspar Jansen, Jeroen Dellensen,
Begona Masia, Shyla Rietveld, Egle Jacinaviciute.
Concept/communications: The Ambassadors of Aesthetics, Menno Landstra
Surface area: 1,200 sq. m.
Location: Leeuwarden

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