This building is a spatial manifesto of Studio thonik’s design philosophy, characterised by social commitment and a playful take on modernism’s heritage. Founded in 1993 as a mostly analogue graphic design practice, thonik rapidly evolved towards digital, using moving images as a starting point for all forms of expression. Studio thonik is the practice’s latest creation and its first architecture venture.
Celebrating thonik’s graphic roots, the lines on the facade refer to Mexcellent, a typeface designed for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. The combination of horizontals, verticals and diagonals attests to radical simplicity. The graphic cladding consists of 1 cm-thick panels of Trespa® Meteon® Lumen mounted directly on to the insulation material. “This sheeting consists of impregnated paper produced by a company in Weert in the southeast of the Netherlands – so it’s truly Dutch manufacturing,” says Widdershoven. “Trespa® is undervalued as a construction material yet it outperforms traditional brick. It is light, fully recyclable and has an undeniable graphic quality.”
The mixed-use development is home to thonik’s new office space arranged over two floors alongside a sake bar on the ground floor leading to a Japanese Omakase restaurant on the first floor. An event space dubbed ‘the thonik loft’ is located on the top floor and a rooftop terrace, open to the public, offers 360-degree views over Amsterdam’s inner city and the financial district, and seeks to be a hub for the local creative community.
The large windows make Studio thonik stand out from its neighbors, welcoming curious pedestrians inside, and an external staircase, balconies and corner windows project onto the street, connecting the interior and exterior. Studio thonik is a all- electric and zero emission building – its floor-to-ceiling windows are triple-glazed and layered with a special UV coating while the indoor temperature is regulated with an air source heat pump. The space also features additional solar and wind energy, high-quality insulation and smart ventilation.
Images © Ossip