A horizontal line crosses the Amsterdam loft refurbished by Firm Architects

Firm Architects have carefully arranged zinc, mirror and brick elements to form a striking horizontal line around the interior of this loft apartment in Amsterdam’s De Pijp district.


The former owner of the loft, which is shortlisted in the apartment interiors category at this year’s Dezeen Awards, had used it extensively as an overflow room to store personal effects and other knick-knacks.

When it fell into the hands of the current occupier, they instructed the local studio Architects’ Firm with the transformation of the loft into a living space that featured distinct “tailor-made” details.

Firm Architects created a horizontal line around the loft

Practice has decided to draw a line that runs along the walls so that the attic appears to have been “visibly cut off.” The wall space above the line has been made white or fitted with zinc panels, while below the line is the loft’s exposed brick structural shell or black tinted mirrors.

“Everything above the cross section is a new interpretation, and everything below a reflection of the old one,” the practice said.

Living space inside Reflections of the Past loft in Amsterdam by Firm Architects
The structural brick shell of the loft is left bare below the line

The line sits 95 centimeters above the ground, an aspect that Firm Architects says is meant to bring a poetic element to the loft.

“It is the focal point of a man’s body … standing with the lower body in the old and the upper body in the new, it reflects being rooted in the past and looking towards the future, ”explained Practice, who named the project Reflections of the Past accordingly. “We thus centralized the physical user in the design.

Staircase inside Reflections of the Past loft in Amsterdam by Firm Architects
The first zinc step of the staircase is at the level of the established line

The project also saw Firm Architects build a new staircase that gives residents access to a rooftop terrace.

The two-part staircase is made up of a block of black steps and a block of perforated zinc steps. The first zinc tread is level with the line that surrounds the attic.

Just beyond the stairs is a sliding wooden partition, behind which is the master bedroom.

Bathroom inside Reflections of the Past loft in Amsterdam by Firm Architects
A strip of gray terrazzo maintains the horizontal line in the loft bathroom

The bathroom, the laundry room and a small guest bedroom are accessible through a door hidden in the zinc and mirror wall of the loft.

The horizontal line that characterizes the living room continues into the bathroom, defined by a strip of light gray terrazzo that wraps around the shower enclosure. There is also a wooden vanity unit 95 centimeters high, accompanied by an arched mirror.

Other components of the loft were designed to sit at the same height as the row. This includes the gray block kitchen island, which is integrated with a concrete sink and a small stove. Directly above is a black cylindrical extractor hood.

Concrete sink inside Reflections of the Past loft in Amsterdam by Firm Architects
The kitchen island is integrated with a concrete sink

The loft previously only had two modestly sized windows, but the entire south facade has been replaced with a sequence of glass doors that bring in an abundance of natural light.

They’re topped with a wispy gray curtain that can be pulled back during the summer months to keep too much heat from filtering inside. Hot air can also escape from the electric hatch that leads to the roof terrace.

The firm also hopes that the subtle sheen of the zinc surfaces and the staircase will further illuminate the living spaces.

Living space inside Reflections of the Past loft in Amsterdam by Firm Architects
Glass doors cross the south facade of the loft

Firm Architects was founded by Carolien Roos and Niek Joanknecht.

The firm’s Amsterdam loft will compete with five other projects in its Dezeen Awards category, including Wood Ribbon, an apartment in Paris organized around a winding plywood wall, and Roseneath Street, an apartment in Melbourne that features concrete walls out of shape.

The photograph is by Studio of Nooyer.


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