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Designer Marcel Wanders is known for creating playful and inventive works. (Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail)
Designer Marcel Wanders is known for creating playful and inventive works. (Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail)

Looking for inspiration? Take a designer's tour through Amsterdam Add to ...

In a country of designers, Marcel Wanders ranks among the very best. He rose to fame with the Knotted Chair, which now sits in the V&A London and MoMA New York. Since then his playful, inventive work has travelled far and wide, from the floating steel staircase at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel in Miami to the business service cutlery of KLM (marcelwanders.com). But Amsterdam is his artistic base, where he first opened his studio, and it’s here Wanders shares five places of inspiration.


Stedelijk Museum

“The Stedelijk Museum reopened in September after a closure of many years, during which time I missed it very much. The historic building is now thoroughly renovated and dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design. I’m very excited about my first full retrospective at the Stedelijk, opening in February, 2014. We’re still in the planning stages, but it will have two zones – black and white. They will each be parallel universes, the white focusing on techniques and themes, while the black will be a wild adventure into my world.” Museumplein 10, stedelijk.nl


“Located in the Jordaan, a beautiful old area of Amsterdam right in the centre of the city, you can find the Moooi showroom. Moooi is a company I founded 11 years ago in order to produce both my own and other designers’ work. The showroom sits on the ground floor of the building my studio is in and really gives an immersive experience of the brand.” Westerstraat 187, moooi-gallery.com

Galerie Paul Andriesse

“I love art and along with a friend have recently begun collecting video works. Galerie Paul Andriesse is in my neighbourhood. They always have interesting exhibitions and represent some of the best artists in the world including Marlene Dumas and Thomas Struth.” Leliegracht 47, paulandriesse.nl

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

“Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht is a new hotel that I designed, which is situated in Amsterdam’s old public library, and so is a place all Amsterdammers know well. I wanted the hotel to encapsulate the heart of creative Amsterdam, but also bring a high level of comfort and fantastic service to the city. The concept was to recreate a link between the history and culture of the old building and the city. Bluespoon is a great restaurant located in the hotel and is the domain of executive chef Julien Piguet.” Prinsengracht 587, andazamsterdam.com

Canals of Amsterdam

“The canals are truly best experienced by boat – you get to see a totally different perspective of the city, one that’s quite unexpected, too. Also by night it’s beautiful to see all the lights of the bridges and houses. I love taking out my boat in summer and sailing through the canals of Amsterdam with friends and family.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.


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