Can’t be put in a corner


I keep finding circles. From an interview with Cees Dam, architect of the Stopera – city hall and opera theatre rolled in one – in Amsterdam, the following quote (Trouw, sept 24th, my translation):

The salmon-pink carpet of the foyer, that merited such adverse comment at the opening, is the same colour still. After the opening festivities the carpet was covered with stains.  Such a difficult colour – what had the architect been thinking of? Not for a second did Dam entertain the thought of having a dark-coloured carpet installed. “We just replace the carpet when the stain’s won’t come out any more. It has been replaced three times now. I’m holding on to this colour because it is such a beautiful transition to the burgondy-red pluche in the main theatre. The reflection is also beautiful. Look, it gives the white chairs a pink glow.”

When the carpet was replaced three years ago Dam chose a salmon-pink carpet with a pattern of circles. A reference to the circle that is the basic form of the Stopera building itself. “When I did my first sketches for this building – I often sketch when travelling on a plane, on the barf bags they have –  the circular form was there from the beginning. The design for Stopera consists of a number of circles placed on an axis.”  Dam makes a quick sketch to illustrate this. “I love the circle because of its fluent shape. When lined up in a circle, people have to face each other, deal with each other, different from when in a square box, where one can be put in a corner.”

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