Room on the Roof is located in the small tower on de Bijenkorf in Amsterdam, a unique spot in the historic heart of the city that has been converted into a cultural haven. Together with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, de Bijenkorf has invited national and international artists to work on their projects in the studio, ranging from performances, poetry, and light art to dance, music, film, and photography.
Room on the Roof is fully equipped for the artists, with a telescope for enjoying panoramic views of the city, a bed for dreaming, a special menu for meals, and its Dam Square location providing a source of inspiration. The works resulting from time spent in Room on the Roof will be shared with the public through an exhibition in the store windows, an online live performance, or an installation in or around de Bijenkorf.
Rijksmuseum For the first two years of the project, the Rijksmuseum will be the cultural partner of Room on the Roof. Since it was founded in 1870, de Bijenkorf has had a clear vision of retail and a strong affiliation with art. Through the course of the 20th century, a special bond has been forged with architects, writers, designers, and artists. Where art and business overlap is now an essential component of the de Bijenkorf strategy. Caroline Krouwels, Head of Creative at de Bijenkorf, explains, “De Bijenkorf integrates retail, art, culture, and design in order to surprise and inspire customers. The tower is a prominent architectural component of the building on Dam Square and, with the Room on the Roof, it will also come to symbolize the creative innovation of de Bijenkorf.”
i29 interior architects The interior of the tower is designed by i29 interior architects. Room on the Roof wants to offer the artist a unique experience, which was a starting point for installation that brings together two worlds in one space, playing with scale and perception as in the universe of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ On one side, a vertical installation of wooden volumes from floor to ceiling is placed; the other side is a full white space. The wooden installation includes a pantry, storage, desk, and daybed. The functions have been stacked on top of each other as a kind of ‘living cabinet’ in order to experience the tower on different levels. Via small ladders, you can climb up in the cabinet. Each level gives a new perspective and view to the outside world. All accessories, such as a telescope, armchair, and lamps, are just like the space itself, all white to contrast with the wooden volume. The monumental spiral stairs leading to the cupola have been restored and add to the fairytale-like atmosphere.