Studio 34 South has completed a 2,000 sqm showroom for MisterDesign, set in a former Ford factory in the quaint Dutch village of Den Bosch, one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands, pre-dating even Amsterdam. Once a bustling cultural hub, the town centre today has both medieval structures and remnants of early 20th-century industrialization, including the imposing Ford factory with its monumental 1930’s Neues Bauen façade.

The site sat unoccupied for over a decade while local government searched for a new business to move in, specifically one that would allow the space to be used as a public, creative, and social destination. Enter MisterDesign, locally founded and emerging high-end furniture and lighting retailer. Rapidly outgrowing their two existing stores on the high street, they decided to occupy the factory to support their European expansion and further customer education about the craftsmanship behind their product offering.

“MisterDesign showcases many iconic furniture brands that we all know and love. But we wanted to position MisterDesign as their own unique brand; a filter through which the brands they represent can be further elevated. This filter focuses on the craft and the process behind the products. In a world of fakes and inauthentic design, we wanted to reconnect consumers with the innovation, context and thus the value of the original pieces,” says Studio 34.

In designing the showroom, Studio 34 combined the conflicting ideologies of mass manufacturing and artisan craftsmanship that have coexisted throughout history. The architects started by designing an intuitive layout to allow customers to navigate the vast space with ease, taking inspiration from the simplicity of a production line.

This led to the 25m ‘innovation platform’, a raised piece of joinery that breaks up the space into three sections. Curved oak veneer walls and plywood shelves evoke a heritage feel that resonates with designers such as Eames and Thonet’s moulded ply and bentwood technology. Mounted steel shelves display furniture pieces that have changed and influenced design language over time, with three integrated spaces on the platform for brand activations and storytelling.

Off the platform, surrounding display areas are defined by the original grid architecture, each vignette framed by 6m semi-sheer Kvadrat curtains suspended from the ceiling.

 

 

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[Images courtesy of Studio 34 South. Photography by Nina van Ewijk.]

 

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