Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
White store in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by XML Architecture
November 15th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: XML Architecture
In the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, architecture office XML has designed a store saturated in white light. The store called ‘HIC’sells bottled water and ‘Reset’, a specially developed drink that mitigates the negative effects of too much alcohol consumption such as a hangover.
The Red Light District in Amsterdam is currently transforming from an area dominated by the sex industry to a more programmatically diverse neighborhood. The store is located in the heart of this district and is part of this gradual transformation. XML’s challenge was to come up with a design that could attract people that pass by and yet communicate to be something completely different than its neighbors. The architects decided to play with the idea of light, as it is already the most important aesthetic feature of the area in the evening.
Core element in the store’s interior is a 9 meter translucent bar containing 28 tube lights that creates a glowing white light amidst the red lights in the area. The element refers to the idea of a reception desk, familiar of pharmacies. A mirror at the end of the shop extends the length of the bar element and visually doubles the small space of the 17th century Amsterdam so u terrain in which the store is located.
Behind the bar, staff dressed in white lab coats offers visitors health information about the physical effects of alcohol consumption.The two products for sale in the store – water and Reset – are displayed on long shelves of folded metal with integrated lighting.
The store is one of the first steps in the gradual transformation process of the area towards a more diverse and balanced neighborhood.
XML is an Amsterdam based architecture practice operating in the domains of architecture, urbanism and research.
XML is committed to designing architecture that both reflects and provokes contemporary ways of life. The office is fueled by a research-driven approach that turns a careful analysis of a project’s core forces into the driving force of architectural design. By understanding program organization as a key strategy within each project, XML aims to establish new relations between buildings and continuously evolving societies.
The office is involved in projects ranging from the scale of developing a series of scenarios for organizing the Olympics in the Netherlands for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment to designing an auditorium for de Apple Arts centre in Amsterdam. Projects include a design for a new UN headquarters in Bonn, an arts pavilion in Hong Kong and researching the architecture of plenary halls of parliaments around the world.
XML has received numerous awards and honors including two first prizes in the pan European architecture prize Europan. The office is currently shortlisted for the Prix de Rome, the oldest and largest Dutch state prize for Architects under 40.
The work of XML has been featured in numerous exhibitions and institutes, such as at the Netherlands Architecture Institute, the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, the 14th International Architecture Biennial in Venice and at the Dutch House of Representatives in The Hague.
XML is led by two partners, Max Cohen de Lara and David Mulder that founded the office in 2008 after David Mulder worked at AMO, the think tank of Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam and Max Cohen de Lara gained experience at RyueNishizawa in Tokyo and the Dutch offices Maxwan and One architecture.
Along side of their architectural practice Max Cohen de Lara and David Mulder have taught at Delft University of Technology, Academy of Architecture Amsterdam and at the Dessau Institute of Architecture. Currently, both partners are founders and course directors of the two year Master Program ‘Designing Democracy’ at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.
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