First published in AMS business magazine.
The creative director of the store concept is Joachim Baan. With more than 10 years experience in the world of communications and design, Joachim’s passion lies in developing and revitalising brands, and the I amsterdam Store is his latest success story.
One iconic Amsterdam-based name is design company Ahrend. ‘Ahrend has been setting the tone in Dutch design for more than 100 years, so it was logical for me to contact them first to explore the possibilities of working together,’ says Baan. ‘We decided to integrate Ahrend’s playful and highly modular Loungescape line, designed by Basten Leijh, in the store concept. With a variety of lounge elements, we created a place where visitors to the crowded Amsterdam Central Station can come to relax and enjoy a quiet environment.’
When it came to finding the right person to design a fabric to upholster the Ahrend Loungescape, the decision was an easy one to make. Borre Akkersdijk, founder of ByBorre, is a young Amsterdam-based designer who, in 2012, won the Dutch Design Award’s MINI Young Designer Award. Akkersdijk, whose ByBorre label is characterized by the selfdeveloped innovative knitting techniques that bring the digital and tactile worlds together, was given free rein to design a unique fabric for the Ahrend Loungescape. The result is an exclusive and beautiful textile with natural depth in both texture and colour, which delivers a stunning look and feel and entices people to sit down and relax in the store.
Looking back, the idea for the store was born over drinks in De Ysbreeker, an Amsterdam café, where Baan brought all the involved parties together and the creative ideas started to flow. ‘I love creating sophisticated designs that have more to them than initially meets the eye,’ says Baan. ‘Be it in materials, form, history and/or production. In fact, it’s only when you take a look at this specific design from above that you will notice it takes the form of a cross. A subtle touch of mine that refers to the iconic St. Andrew’s Crosses of Amsterdam. That’s what I love about this design: It looks stunning and it is highly functional. And I could tell you 1,001 stories about it.’