Living calligraphy

Layers in interiors

Anyone who knows me also knows that I design interiors using layers. Like a painter, I put larger patches of paint on the white canvas of walls and smooth floors, enrich them with small accents of colour or pattern, and finally "cut" the whole with calligraphic strokes of black, in the form of lamps or other accessories.

The reason why I’m writing this is because an interior I wanted to present today looks like one big calligraphy. And it's hard to believe that this is actually an office and not a living space, because it could easily be one. Office Brabant by Studio Piet Boon is a thoroughly luxurious space created on the model of simple farms surrounding the investment. Full of natural materials and daylight. Designed and furnished with attention to the finest details. A deliberately unsaturated colour palette was used in the design, with a focus on raw materials and a multitude of dark graphic accents.

When boundaries between self and non-self are blurred

I believe I’ve read everything available about this project and found absolutely no mention of a Japanese inspiration. However, it is no secret that the owner of the brand, architect Piet Boon, has a passion for craftsmanship and natural materials, which are now the hallmarks of his design studio. At the same time, these are the hallmarks of Japanese aesthetics, which Europeans - particularly the Danes - were enamoured with in the 1950s. Many of the ideas that were then considered to be the genius of Japanese architects, such as the interplay between indoor and outdoor with large floor-to-ceiling windows, using wood as bearing structures of a house and not as decoration, or discretely marked entrance, were integrated so successfully that they were no longer perceived as external influences, but rather indigenous.

In my opinion, this is also the case with Office Brabant. The designers at Studio Piet Boon have applied all the solutions I’ve mentioned above. What's more, if you look closely you will see plenty of more specific references to the Land of the Rising Sun. The siding of the building with a round hole looks like it has been taken out of a tea pavilion. The omnipresent minimalism, simplicity of forms, tables and benches with shortened legs, use of natural materials such as wood, stone and leather, as well as large graphic accents evoke the spirit of Japanese aesthetics. I am particularly captivated by the multitude of graphic accents in the design, in particular the black lamp, which resembles a large dishevelled chasen (bamboo whisk).

I'm throwing this article into the drawer with Japanase-inspired interiors in a resoundingly unspoken way and encourage you to take a journey into the depths of Office Brabant.

Office Brabant by Studio Piet Boon. A view of the distinctive rung siding of the terrace flush with the house, with a circular opening reminiscent of traditional Japanese maru-mado. Via Archello.