Design Outlier, 2021
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Interior Design: Residential, 2021

Client Profile

André Armel, in his late 40s, is a single man from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  • A failed lawyer of the mid-century 1900s, and self-proclaimed philanthropist, his pursuit of philosophical dilemmas suffers him isolation from any familial or romantic relationships.
  • Not a firm believer in higher power, he persists on condemning the world in black and white-and his perpetual exploration of his self only confirms his worst beliefs.
  • Although he deems himself judge, jury and executioner, André fears scrutiny when its source is not himself. This is also a reason he likes to entertain guests- allows him to cement his idealogies.
  • He owns a rather large collection of books- his only prized possession other than his flamboyantindulging in art.
  • Besides this and very a very tasteful assortment of attires, André does not own much.
  • He finds that attachment to materials that do not inspire him to ponder, are of very little value;specially because settling down in one home, or rather, one city seldom brings him what he seeks.
  • He is a traveler, in search of solutions that often find him at the bottom of a whiskey bottle.

Design Concept

Designing for André Armel will mean abiding by his very specific preferences despite his outward nonchalance. Thereupon, the design concept centers around his most obvious and pronounced characteristics and needs in context of the spatial allegory.

As per the collage, the most obvious quality is segmentation- this is reflective of his predilection of detaching himself of relations and focusing only on that which he deems significant. The colour palette is telling of his worldly perspective: monochromatic but gilded in gold symbolizing his mindset framed by priviledge and affluence.

Beginning from the left quadrant, stacked books are stitched onto an abstract expressionist Franz Kline painting which is overlapped by a sculpture erecting columns on his visage- much like the mental structure of lawful matters. Scribbles separate these from the lower section- which is more visually sparse with mirror frame and portraits- derived from his narcissistic qualities. There is also a portrait of author Albert Camus- an icon of his age with likewise idealogies. The geometric panelling that runs down the length of the frame is a statement for Art Deco, also akin to knitting pattern of men’s sweater. Cylindrical pendant lighting demonstrates an ambition for minimalism or decluttering, while the bold label on the right is that of a famous bourbon company of the time. All these components are a visual gestation of what the space should inhabit and embody.

Since his lineage is French, the design is speculative of arches and wall paneling- both of which elements are also emphasized in Amsterdam interiors. The collage illustrates delineation arisen from philosophy, inner turmoil, coping mechanism, prized posessions and cultural/ academic identity. However, the soft filtered light is denotative of the will to absolve and overcome- as is the core purpose of design

Brief: to renovate and meet needs

Design Statement 

More than just a place to reside in, the apartment is a mirage of its inhabitant: a retraction from the world and ironically, characterized by all that it has to offer. The seduction of abstract expressionism clothing the walls and floors, the wisdom buried between the lines of countless leather-bound books, the harshness of white and the embrace of black coalesce.
As such, the intent is to harmonize the very starkly contrasting hues onto all the surfaces and textures within the apartment, as they interact with light, timeless art and the hierarchy of vintage and contemporary shapes. Every fixture and furniture is intentional, wilful towards the same goal of an unparalleled assemblage of simplicity. As a thinker and
practitioner who would live in the space, every nook and cranny is one that inspires reflection and contemplation just as it exonerates desolation.
To thus create a classical ambience, monochromatic tones of furnishing and fixtures marry into metallic, rugged finishes and soulful art. It is designed to cradle the morning time as dearly as it nuzzles the nigh-time to exude a dynamic lustre of modernity. Since the palette is invariant, the spaces divulge in the trichotomy of different textures spanning from smooth to mid-grained to rough, which creates adventure solely through the movement of the eye. Alongside, divergence is also introduced through an array of patterns that merge and disperse to create sensory interest through French and Amsterdam design influences.
Confluencing of multiple shapes visible throughout the space, circles, lines and arches co-exist to cement the temporality of life. This brings minimalism to life whilst silently sheltering the need to overpower any one space. The spatial allegory emphasizes the 1950s to its fullest, drawing from the age its unique qualities of geometry, its splurging
in opulence and its entertaining of atypical crowds.

Formal elements aside, the principles of design for this interior ventures into the emphasis of using light, color and texture in a disproportionate system to animate navigation. More than problem-solving, the apartment seeks to dissolve remants of distress by creating a sense of absolute calmness and serenity. The high ceilings allow the rooms to look and feel larger than life, complemented by mirror, reflective surfaces and arched openings including doors and windows. To breathe a little more life into the space, accent colors come in bright and saturated splashes across the surfaces so that the place is not monotonous to be in. Although it is not to plenteous that it objects to the designated palette.
While rhythm and repitition occurs in shape and scale, emphasis and balance is applied to spaces that are programmatically pragmatic. The master bedroom and bar command luxury over the other rooms, closely followed by the study and the living space. Spaces like bathroom and kitchen are equipped with necessities with a touch of lushness.
In junction, the interior communicates with the outdoors while being isolated from it, much like its intended resident.

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