concrete architectural associates
Rozengracht 133 III,
Phone +31 20 5200 200
Fax +31 20 5200 201
Ewout Huibers, http://www.ewout.tv
Rob Wagemans, MArch
Born in Eindhoven on 13th of February 1973, History of education: Master of Architecture Utrecht, Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam.
Erik van Dillen, Interior Architect
Born in de Bilt on 27th of April 1960,
History of education: interior architect, Rietveld academy, catering industry skills in the kitchen, painting restorer. (at this moment he is just creatively involved with Concrete)
concrete consists of 3 companies: concrete architectural associates, concrete reinforced and the scale model company models+monsters. concrete’s entire team consists of about 25 professional people. visual marketeers and interior designers, product designers and architects work on the projects in multidisciplinary teams.
concrete architectural associates and models+monsters are based in an old gym on amsterdam’s rozengracht. here, the designers work on the total concepts in brainstorm sessions. the company produces the interior and product designs here, along with the main presentations and, eventually, the scale models themselves.
concrete reinforced is located in the middle of the red light district on the oudezijds achterburgwal. at this site the designers of concrete reinforced work, in particular, on architectonic and urban development plans.
concrete develops total concepts for businesses and institutions. the agency produces work which is commercially applied. this involves creating total identities for a company, a building or an area. the work extends from interior design to urban development integration and from the building to its accessories. concrete, for example, also sets the perimeters for the graphic work and considers how the client can present itself in the market.
this all happens from the ‘one concept’ philosophy. the designers of concrete create holistic plans and everything they design is used for the benefit of that total concept: that’s where their strength – and thus the client’s greatest advantage – lies.
concrete is dynamic, quick on its feet and self-determined. the agency thrives on hard work and the creation of beautiful things. concrete does not have a pre-determined style and the designers do not simply create designs, interiors or buildings: concrete devises solutions.
according to concrete, translating functionality and ease of use always depends on the given situation. function has no definitive style. a museum needs a different design solution than a coffee bar does, or a school or casino. and in outward appearance, they are nothing like each other.
good design always starts with good analysis. a truly functional design must always be accompanied by an appropriate and stimulating concept. we live in a rapidly changing world with new lifestyles that demand radically different solutions than those that were offered one or two generations ago.
more often than not, these solutions represent a complete break with existing, traditional types of designs for buildings and interiors. concrete believes that the direction of this innovatory movement is clearly moving towards pure analysis and a highly consistent design concept.
that is why concrete’s designs are both obvious and yet, simultaneously, unexpected. the basis for this successful approach – according to concrete – is the lack of distinction between the expressiveness of the different design disciplines.
concrete hosts different disciplines such as product and interior designers, architects, visual marketeers and now an urban planning/architectural firm too. concrete’s deliberate choice of breaking away from traditional hierarchies and the dominant forces which dictate the design process today, gives our agency unprecedented freedom.
concrete derives the inspiration, influence and conceptual impetus for its designs from today’s modern world. concrete’s designers want to be inspired not just by modern art but by comics too, by ideas from the world of architecture and multimedia, by haute cuisine and the snack bar.
they appear contradictory, but, in this collision, the perfect expression of our post-modern age can be found.
that is precisely why concrete’s designs are so stimulating. concrete’s work is smoothly seductive with a rough edge, wild but with restraint, still in its fierceness, bombastic with style, in your face but poetic, alluring with reserve, hard to get but available, dramatic with a knowing wink, tragicomic and contritely sensual.
in short, concrete’s work is realistic and yet absurd. concrete is contemporary and forward-looking.
concrete is honest and sticks to its word. concrete seeks out the clients’ real passion and ambition, and works closely with them to discover their real motives and their true corporate philosophy.
concrete’s designers are able to transform this ambition and philosophy into constructed environments, and they are not satisfied until the plan results in the best possible business outcome for their clients.
2009 TimeOut Magazine Best of Amsterdam 2009; Best Architecture Firm 2009
Time-out magazine Amsterdam has selected concrete as Best Architecture Firm 2009. Furthermore Vyne won the prize for Best Wine Bar.
2009 Hospitality Design Awards: winner citizenM Mid-range/Economy Hotel and Mid-range/Economy Guestrooms or Suites, New York On June 4th, around 250 industry members gathered at the Hudson Theatre at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City to honor the finalists and winners of Hospitality Design (HD) magazine’s fifth annual HD Awards. Finalists and winners from the 398 submissions in categories ranging from luxury hotel to resort to spa were announced prior to the event.
2009 Dutch Architectural Yearbook 08/09; citizenM schiphol
The yearbook has selected the most remarkable architectural projects realized on Dutch soil over the preceding year. The shortlist of 30 projects provides a wide-ranging overview of trends, design strategies, architectural typologies and topical themes that have influenced architecture in 2008.
2008 The Sleepevent: CitizenM winner in 4 categories; the european hotel design of the year award, best innovation, best technology, best graphic design; Londen
Nomination report: citizenM has been nominated in 5 categories for “the sleepevent” awards; “best innovation, best standard branded bedroom, best architecture, best technology and best graphic design” and won in 4 categories. The “sleepevent” is europe’s leading event devoted to hotel design, development & architecture.
2008 Venuez Hospitality & Style Awards Amsterdam winner citizenM “best hotel concept 2008”
Venuez hospitality & style awards nominated “citizenM” in the category; “best hotel concept”. The jury chose the nominations according to the published venues in “VENUEZ” of the past one and a half years. Nomination Report: the hotel concept of citizenM is of exceptional high class. The hotel is a fully new developed concept. Every detail is well thought-through and executed. Luxury, design, comfort and technology for an extraordinary budget price. This excellent price-quality combination is going to give competitors a difficult time. The public spaces are inviting and stimulate mutual interaction. Conslusion: citizenM is a world concept, which has set a new standard for innovative undertaking in the hospitality arena.
2008 Dutch Design Awards Eindhoven nomination citizenM “audi design awards” and “best public interior”
Nomination Report: From a total of 700 submissions 6 nominees were selected for the AUDI design awards. The winners of this award is selected by the public. citizenM was also selected as a nominee for “best public interior”. The mission of the Dutch Design Awards is to appreciate excellent Dutch design and to show the position of Dutch design in the world.
2007 Hospitality Design Award - CitizenM Paris ‘Best innovative Concept in Midscale Hotels’
In the eyes of the jury, the Dutch hotel group citizenM exceeded all competitors with its affordable luxury hotel concept. citizenM hotels received the award Best Innovative Hotel Concept in Midscale Hotels because of its unique design and optimized use of room space, designed by architects Concrete; its technical innovations by Philips, such as the touch screen ‘moodpad’ and ‘ambient lighting’ technology; the luxurious citizenM amenities; the diverse food & beverage assortment and the designer furnishing by Vitra. Over 150 hotel and affiliated companies were selected for the Worldwide Hospitality Awards competition. A professional jury of 30 hotel industry professionals, experts, executives and architects initially selected 20 nominees per category and finally determined 3 finalists for each category. “The submissions this year were overwhelmingly positive and of high quality. The entries are becoming better in innovation every year, it has been an exciting process of reviewing and making difficult choices” says Georges Panayotis worldwide hospitality awards founder and chairman MKG group.
2007 Great Indoors Award Maastricht nomination ‘Interior Design Firm of the Year’
Nomination Report: ‘Concrete gets its share of praise as well. This firm seems to spend time reflecting on the substantive nature of luxury, while realizing that the need to create identities is greater than the need to produce interiors. Niesten envisions Concrete’s designers enjoying what they do, ‘and their clients probably have fun too’. Rinkens believes that Concrete carefully studies its commissions before getting down to work. Schilder, as the last to speak, says that Concrete’s nomination is totally justified: ‘Looking at the firm’s work over the years, you have to grant Concrete the position it deserves. This is a team that makes solid, well-considered, top-quality work.’
2007 Great Indoors Award Maastricht nomination ‘Relax & Consume’: The Clinic Singapore
Nomination Report: ‘This club in Singapore, the work of Dutch designers, gets a round of applause for its unique and unconventional theme: even without the name, this is clearly a hospital-inspired nightspot. Opinions galore. Schilder feels that here and there the designers have been too literal in integrating hospital elements into the interior. Niesten says a table with wheelchairs is simply ‘not done’. Smeets refers to the design as ‘anecdotal’, but also says it’s ‘original and translated consistently throughout’. And although Goedemondt senses an Asian atmosphere, Rinkens isn’t hit with an instant jolt of ‘Singapore’, noting instead an ambience with a great deal of variation. Hutten likes the exuberance, but finds certain parts of the design a bit ‘interchangeable’.
2006 theme:nl Hospitality & Style Awards Amsterdam ‘Best New Style Venue’
Envy is the example for a well thought out total concept. This Style venue, developed by Concrete Architectural Associates, is a meeting place in which fresh products and great wines are centralised.The jury was very impressed by the intimate, still austere style of interior with natural materials, which proved to be the best use of the long narrow room.There are high tables (bar level) on which you can draw up a barstool as well as low tables, which can be reserved. This division brings something for everyone. The large, open kitchen is located in the front, so al the guest will immediately invade into the world of products being prepared. The refrigerated wall is meant to be a showcase, which will arouse the interest and urge of the guests for the products.This creative arrangement appealed to the judges. The jury was really impressed with the way lighting is applied. In the reflection of the Tom Dixon lights you have an overview of the room and you can watch all your ‘neighbours’ without them knowing. Over the low seats pin spots are situated which place the dish literally into a spotlight.
2005 Contract world award 2005 DOMOTEX messe Hannover
5th international architecture prize for innovative interior design concepts prizes were awarded for the best design concepts for tomorrow’s work environments, creative hotel interiors, attractive shop interiors, innovative exhibition stands and floor coverings as an integral design element. The contract world award is dedicated to outstanding interior design concepts. Concrete is winner with the lairesse apotheek, Amsterdam in the category best shop.
2005 Record Interiors award 2005 For excellence in design New York
Through transparant, luminous matrials and allusions to leafy forest, concrete vokes serenity at De Lairesse Apotheek in Amsterdam.
2004 Lensvelt de Architect interior prize 2004 Lensvelt and de Architect Amsterdam
The supperclub cruise in Amsterdam, designed by concrete, is part of a nightlife concept with branches in various cities throughout the world. The most recent addition to this recreational ‘brand’ is a boat that welcomes guests and takes them on a cruise. Not simply a restaurant, bar or disco, the venue is all three in one. The jury especially liked the way the designers organized the program. The sophisticated use of light, color, music and furnishings was another aspect that drew the jury’s admiration. The winning design lends shape to an experience that dovetails seamless with 21-st-century nightlife. The result is a winning project that is also a contemporary icon of interior design. The jury believes, however, that concrete’s manner of working can be applied equally well to other programs and in other contexts. For all these reasons, the jury selected the supperclub cruise by concrete as the winner of the fourth lensvelt de architect interior design award.
2003 Dutch Design Prize 2003 Stichting Nederlandse Designprijzen Amsterdam
The brief is given by the Amsterdam pharmacy de lairesse apotheek to concrete design was simple: “ Make a pharmacy that makes you forget all the others that have preceded it”. The designers seem to have succeeded in every aspect. The tree trunk column is a particularly striking innovation, symbolizing the equal emphasis given by the pharmacy to natural medicines.
2002 Lensvelt de Architect interior prize 2002 Lensvelt and de Architect Breda
The second edition of the LAI prize went to concrete architectural associates for their design of the lairesse pharmacy in Amsterdam. The project satisfies the criteria listed in the brief. The interior design is based on a innovative concept, a relationship exists between interior and concept and the designers experimented with the use of materials. The interior of the pharmacy expresses the equal standing of ‘conventional’ and ‘natural’ medicines. In addition, the premises are interpreted as a semi-public space that invites visitors to inquire about various medicines within a relaxing atmosphere. In a unanimous decision, the jury awarded the LAI prize to the Lairesse pharmacy and its designers.
2001 Mart Stam incentive prize 2001 Amsterdam fund for the arts Amsterdam
…In the first place, it (encouragement) is not necessary; the winner has absolutely no need of encouragement. Production is moving at high speed, projects are continually popping up here and there, and beyond Amsterdam the entire country and now the rest of the world have become the grounds for new work. In the second place, this award, an acknowledgement of developing talent, is a small gesture in light of the rapidly growing popularity of the winners. The real encouragement comes from the growing recognition of and interest in their work. From the winner’s rapidly growing list of successful projects, there are several which we could have chosen. However, there had to be one: it is club more. It could also have been café blender or spring restaurant. These projects are marked by a feeling for entourage, and by a décor that accommodates the things people like to do best: eat, drink, socialize, dance, converse, see and be seen. These designers know how this is done. They are Gilian Schofer and Rob Wagemans of concrete architectural associates...