Boosting its cultural credentials to assert its contemporary relevance, Amsterdam's historic high-end department store De Bijenkorf has launched a two-year artist-in-residence initiative. A fairytale-esque studio space/atelier has been created in its rooftop tower to house the project.
Dubbed 'Room on the Roof', the scheme will invite local and international artists, writers, architects and musicians to occupy the space. Their completed projects will be showcased via installations, window displays and performances in the store space below.
The atelier's interior, designed by Netherlands-based practice i29 Architects, is split into two distinct spaces serving separate functions. The first comprises a pinewood structure that houses a desk, daybed, pantry and storage – all located on different levels reached by small, integrated wooden ladders. In stark contrast, the second half of the room visually resembles a blank canvas, with whitewashed walls and a smattering of practical furniture including an armchair and a lamp. For more on interiors that cater to flexible working options, see LDF 2014: Small Spaces/Smart Living, The Transformable Workspace and The Living Workspace.
The project is being run in collaboration with Dutch national museum of art and history the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and will kick off with Dutch furniture designer Maarten Baas.
For more on the growing convergence of retail and art, see Art-Fuelled Fashion Spaces. For more on the hybridisation of retail destinations, including the inclusion of cultural venues, see Evolution of the Retail Flagship: Hybrid Lifestyle Venues and Music & Retail.
For more on how other department stores are maintaining relevance, see Digitised Department Stores, Redefining the Department Store and The Selfridges Effect. See also Stores as Sanctuaries: Mindfulness & The New Escapism in Inconspicuous Consumption, part of our Austerity Opportunity Macro Trend.