Amsterdam apartment block features cupboard bedrooms

Dutch design studio Blom Interieurs has created playful interiors with cupboard bedrooms for Shift Architecture Urbanism‘s Domūs Houthaven residential complex in Amsterdam.

The complex, which contains 235 compact rental apartments, was created to provide high-density living, utilising space and materials effectively.

The colourful interiors of Domūs Houthaven cupboard bedrooms
The 235 apartments in Domūs Houthaven contain cupboard bedrooms

Each apartment contains a bedroom cupboard with built-in shelves and under-bed drawers. The sleeping cupboard can be closed off from the living space with perforated steel folding doors.

“Close the doors and your whole apartment becomes your living room; open them at night and you have a huge bedroom,” Shift Architecture Urbanism partner Oana Rades told Dezeen.

Bright yellow modular kitchen in compact apartment
Each apartment features a “smart-living core”

Designed by Shift Architecture Urbanism, individual apartments range in size from 43 to 60 square metres, with colour-blocked modular units arranged according to the building’s floor plan. 

At the heart of every apartment is a “smart-living core” – a central cell comprising a kitchen, box bedroom, bathroom and storage space. By incorporating floor-to-ceiling storage, the studio maximised the space.

Blom Interieurs oversaw production and assembly of the “smart-living core” modules and the fixed furniture in the common areas.

The bedroom cupboard doors were the most challenging aspect, the studio told Dezeen. “For such daily intensive use, the doors had to be sturdy and robust and at the same time easy to operate. Our solution was steel.”

Colourful multifunctional living space in Amsterdam
Domūs Houthaven residents have access to shared living spaces

The steel doors, pale laminate floors, untreated concrete ceilings and white walls were designed to contrast with the brightly coloured furnishings and modular units.

As well as their individual apartments, residents have access to shared co-working, living, cooking, utility and garden spaces. Shift Architecture Urbanism designed the communal spaces to encourage interaction between residents and “prevent loneliness”.

“The communal spaces are designed to feel homely, as an extension of one’s own private apartment,” said Rades.

Wood-lined seating area in Domus Houthaven complex
Built-in furniture can be seen throughout the communal areas

Built-in furniture features throughout the multifunctional living area, including a wood-lined seating area that doubles as a bookcase. 

Separating the living and the co-working spaces is a small kitchen unit lined in pastel-green ceramic tiles. A large television sits in a wooden cabinet that acts as a room partition while also providing further storage and open shelving. 

“Four large pieces of furniture act as room dividers, differentiating the large open space into smaller ones that feel intimate,” Rades explained. 

Multifunctional shared living space in Amsterdam
The internal layout is organised to maximise available space

Throughout the project, the studio aimed to use a variety of colours, patterns and materials. Doors and window frames in pastel tones match the curtains in each of the apartments, while recessed window ledges provide informal seating areas. 

“[We used] a rich complementing material palette with contrasting tactile and graphic appearance,” said Rades.

“The material palette is very diverse: from bamboo and wood veneer to corrugated steel plates to ceramic tiles and terrazzo.” 

Recessed window in Domus Houthaven interior
The studio set out to use a bright, playful colour palette

A pavilion on the roof contains a communal kitchen that functions as a cooking studio, with a central island clad in turquoise tiles and a contrasting long red dining table. 

A speckled grey seating ledge runs below the wraparound glazing, which provides views of the surrounding area and skyline beyond.

Communal turquoise island in pavilion kitchen
Shift Architecture Urbanism used a range of materials throughout the project

Other recent projects by Shift Architecture Urbanism include an adaptation of a historic Dutch monastery for ageing residents and the renovation of a derelict four-storey home in Rotterdam, replacing brickwork with glazing to create two light-filled apartments.

The photography is by Pim Top and Rob Lipsius. 

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