Cultuurhuis Felix MeritisBack to Projects list
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Home of curiosity
Keizersgracht, 1788: The height of the Enlightenment saw the birth of this 4500-square-metre building in Louis XVI style, a hotspot for creativity and a crossover for scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and thinkers, christened Felix Meritis (meaning ‘Happy through Merit’). Commissioned by the investment group Amerborgh, in 2020 the prizewinning studio i20 re-designed the interior of Felix Meritis, while MATH Architekten were responsible for the structural renovation. The result is an unmistakeable, charismatic design, inspired by the building’s rich history.
Felix Meritis remains one of Amsterdam’s most important listed buildings. The contemporary interpretation of the property experiments with possibilities for a curious audience in the fields of technology, entrepreneurship, science and the arts. The starting point for the designers, therefore, was to showcase this variety and give all of the spaces their own identity. Intense, high-contrast colours on acoustic walls as well as special productions – including a bar area dressed in rough steel sheets – characterise the spaces. The past is always present: Accentuated, minimal changes aimed to preserve the building’s raw character as much as possible.
The colour freshness of the interior design and the far-reaching architectural expertise of the people involved in the restoration project is reflected in the light control, too. The iconic LS 990 switch by JUNG and its edition in Les Couleurs® Le Corbusier underscore a concept of blending vibrantly coloured design with architectural history.