University restaurant Lodewijk, Utrecht. Photo: Jeroen Mush
Interior design that shapes modern society TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK
The best interior designers understand that creating a space that functions is all about seamlessly combining a fitting aesthetic and an intuitive user experience. Balancing visual ideals, technological advances and economic restrictions, a well-designed interior acts as a reflection of society. Constantly challenging himself to find the ultimate solution, Jan Geysen, head of PUUR interior architects, is well aware that he helps to shape modern society through his work. For PUUR, the goal is to create value, and to produce something extraordinary. “For a retail business, it’s not just about putting the shelves in the right places, it is about designing an experience for the customers. Likewise with offices, it is 20 | Issue 28 | April 2016
important that the professional environment reflects the DNA of the company,” he says. To create this kind of added value, they take the user as the starting point. Generating the perfect interior concept is like going on a journey, where PUUR and the client work closely together to search for the best design solution. “We see our clients as a partner, and we treat them like that. We start a dialogue and listen, and are not afraid to ask questions. Together we try to find the essence of the space in terms of atmosphere, user experience and functionality.” PUUR is also eager to put their projects in context. They often take the history of
a building as a source of inspiration, and bring out the soul of the structure in the interior design. One such project was the university restaurant in Utrecht. Calling upon the expertise of a local tour guide, PUUR discovered that the building used to be a palace owned by King Lodewijk Napoleon, who ruled the Netherlands in the early 19th century. The restaurant, aptly named Lodewijk, has a stunning modern interior that also reflects the grandeur of a former royal residence. Geysen: “In the design we wanted to tune into the history of the building. We’ve included abstract elements that show this intriguing past, such as the choice of furniture and wall decorations.”
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.