By Lau­ra Mag­gi — pho­tos by Ka­sia Ga­t­ko­w­ska

A ho­me for the soul — p. 152

ELLE Decor (Italy) - - English Text -

In the heart of Am­ster­dam, over­loo­king a ca­nal, the hi­dea­way of an il­lu­mi­na­ted wri­ter de­si­gned by Stu­dio Bak­ker “It has al­ways been my sa­fe port of call. A ho­me to li­ve in, whi­ch is al­so a co­sy, warm, pea­ce­ful ha­ven. Right in the cen­tre of the ci­ty”, says its ow­ner, Dut­ch wri­ter An­dre Pla­teel. When it was pur­cha­sed by Pla­teel, this ear­ly se­ven­teen­th- cen­tu­ry buil­ding, was in a sta­te of to­tal aban­don. Tur­ning the­se 400 squa­re me­tres in­to a ho­me was an al­mo­st ti­ta­nic un­der­ta­king: “A full- ti­me job for four years, to­ge­ther wi­th my fa­ther and bro­ther”, con­ti­nues An­dre. “But re­no­va­tion of the hou­se al­so ser­ved to re­build our fa­mi­ly, struck by a de­va­sta­ting dea­th”. The in­te­rior de­si­gn ca­me la­ter, out of an en­coun­ter wi­th the in­te­rior de­si­gner Stef Bak­ker, who adds: “The ef­fect of the in­te­riors was in­cre­di­ble, the walls and the ma­te­rials spo­ke of the pa­st. Su­ch hu­ge spa­ces cal­led for a gen­tle but tho­rou­gh ap­proa­ch, so­me what bru­tal but non- in­va­si­ve de­si­gn”. Fi­nal­ly the clean li­nes of the new­ly de­si­gned pie­ces by Stu­dio Bak­ker to­ge­ther wi­th a hand pic­ked se­lec­tion of vin­ta­ge pie­ces crea­te the per­fect dia­lo­gue wi­th the ori­gi­nal ar­chi­tec­tu­re and turns what was on­ce a big sto­ra­ge spa­ce in­to a real ho­me. Now you gli­de from one le­vel to the next, from the li­ving area wi­th its built- in steel fi­re­pla­ce that looks on­to the di­ning room and open kit­chen, th­rou­gh to the areas de­di­ca­ted to work and me­di­ta­tion and the be­drooms. Beams and load- bea­ring struc­tu­res ha­ve been ex­po­sed, the walls ha­ve clay pla­ster, the cei­lings look li­ke the over­tur­ned hull of a boat, fur­ni­tu­re and fur­ni­shings feel li­ke they ha­ve al­ways been he­re. Wood is a con­stant pre­sen­ce, bo­th for the old load- bea­ring struc­tu­res and the ori­gi­nal floo­ring, and for the new ad­di­tions. “Real wi­sdom is kno­wing that eve­ry­thing we need is to un­der­stand who we are”, An­dre ends by say­ing. “The hou­se has exi­sted and li­ved for mo­re than four cen­tu­ries. I am on­ly pas­sing th­rou­gh”.

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