A house in an east Amsterdam neighborhood was recently renovated in tribute to the beloved local avant-garde artist Karel Appel. The architects at DUS borrowed from his vivid pallet to turn Dapperstraat 7, the home Appel was born in, into six small studios complete with an ingenious tuck-away kitchen. The design boldly delineates the spaces, visually increasing the size of the interior space and allowing the rooms to take on multiple uses.
Appel was a co-founder of the short-lived but influential figurative abstract art movement Cobra, which produced work distinguished by a pallet of bold color and simplified imagery. The apartments celebrate his work through bright primary colored steel walls and painted floors. The black and white kitchen features foldable walls that help keep the tiny units from feeling cluttered.
The building houses a collection of Appel’s work from of the Cobra Museum of Contemporary Art, and the studios are reserved for artists in residence at the National Academy of Visual Arts. The guiding principle of the project comes from Appel’s quote “I start from my matter – the paint and the canvas.” It’s a statement that the artists in residence literally live in.