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Design for winning

Dutch design studios Bierman Henket and Onix have both won prestigious Dutch Design Awards for recent design work. The news came this weekend during the opening of the popular Dutch Design Week.

This summer, we reported on Bierman Henket’s extension to a museum that uses ceramic tiles to cover a rugby-ball shaped extension. The architects themselves consider ‘cloud’ the best description for the extension. The building uses custom-made glazed ceramic tiles to cover the rounded surface of the structure. The tiles are 200mm x 200mm or 100mm x 100mm and have a duotone colour from white to sky blue, to maximise the cloudlike effect.

Architects Onix, who hold a particular love for wood design, also won. Their interior for a tower (Toren van Uiterwierde, completed in 2012) in the very north of the country was considered the best of the pack. The tower is split into three areas, of which the middle – the vertical tower space – is the most interesting. The entrance is connected to the view from the top by a winding staircase that has forceful lines. The solid construction guides the viewer’s attention along and around specific viewpoints, such as the clock or the bell.

The winding staircase is surprisingly simple. Multiplex boards on wooden framing rise up in solid panels up to 2,5 m high. Spruce flooring and construction is kept at a slight distance from the multiplex by a thin spacing line. This detail adds a sense of dimension and tight finish to the design, but particularly acts to counter any damage due to rubbing, vibration or jarring of the two different wood types.


Photos of the tower by Peter van der Knoop.

Photos of the museum extension by Rob Hoekstra.