Designed by thonik’s - founder Thomas Widdershoven in collaboration with MMX Architects, the building is a spatial manifesto of thonik’s design philosophy, characterised by social commitment and a playful take on modernism’s heritage.
Founded in 1993 as a mostly analogue graphic design practice, thonik rapidly evolved towards digital, using moving images as a starting point for all forms of expression. Studio thonik is the practice’s latest creation and its first architecture venture.
“Designing and building your own workspace is still an experimental alternative in the current economic reality. For thonik, it meant operating within a tangle of rules and constraints and having to soften up institutions and experts to get the right support. And it required a completely different attention span to a communications campaign. In fact, the process, from start to finish, took 12 long years. ” Thomas Widdershoven explains.
“We couldn’t have done it without Arjan van Ruyven of MMX Architects, who proved to be an ideal sparring partner,” continues Widdershoven. “We put so much care and attention into the design,” says Nikki Gonnissen, thonik’s co-founder. “A building is not like a poster, it has a much longer lifespan.”
Celebrating thonik’s graphic roots, the lines on the facade refer to Mexcellent, a typeface designed for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. The combination of horizontals, verticals, and diagonals attests to radical simplicity. The graphic cladding consists of 1 cm-thick panels of Trespa® Meteon® Lumen mounted directly on the insulation material.
The mixed-use development is home to thonik’s new office space arranged over two floors alongside a sake bar on the ground floor, leading to a Japanese Omakase restaurant on the first floor. An event space dubbed ‘the thonik loft’ is located on the top floor, and a rooftop terrace, open to the public, offers 360-degree views over Amsterdam’s inner city and the financial district and seeks to be a hub for the local creative community.
The large windows make Studio thonik stand out from its neighbours, welcoming curious pedestrians inside, and an external staircase, balconies, and corner windows project onto the street, connecting the interior and exterior. Studio thonik is an all-electric and zero-emission building – its floor-to-ceiling windows are triple-glazed and layered with a special UV coating. At the same time, the indoor temperature is regulated with an air source heat pump. The space also features additional solar and wind energy, high-quality insulation, and smart ventilation.
More about Studio thonik.