KONINKLIJKE KENTALIS ‘DE WEERKLANK’

AMSTERDAM | SEPTEMBER 2014 – MAART 2016. 

The ‘Weerklank’ is a residential care center for children, teenagers, and grownups with a serious form of autism. The center previously consisted of two locations that needed to be merged and housed together in a new building. An architect specialized in construction designed the building and layout. Marts was responsible for the interior design and selecting furniture, colors, and materials. We also designed customized furniture that fitted the needs of the users. The residents who would make use of the furniture had two important requirements: the furniture had to be non-distractive and should be able to withstand rough handling.

In consultation with the architect who designed the building, we decided to bring nature inside. We choose to work with natural colors like different shades of green and brown and to use natural materials wherever possible. In addition, we selected furniture that did not have a hospital look but did have the same quality as medical furniture. This means coatings had to be unaffected by incontinence and the furniture had to be able to endure rough handling. This made it a serious challenge to find the right furniture.

The furniture needed to consist of just one piece with as few seams as possible and needed to be made of even materials. We also designed a TV cabinet for each living unit, which we integrated with storage cabinets and benches. We chose very large cabinet doors in white oak, because large doors have fewer seams. For some users it was necessary that the furniture was fixed to the floor or wall. Our interior architect designed a bed that couldn’t be lifted or moved, making it unnecessary to fix it to the floor or wall. Cabinets also had to meet all kinds of criteria; as few segments and seams as possible, no handles, square locks; they needed to be robust and the doors needed to be able to rotate 270 degrees. We chose to design custom-made furniture because we couldn’t find anything that met all requirements.

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