Since early 2022, we were looking for a new location replacing our temporary workplace Creative Workspace 1-1-1 in Amsterdam North. At Karperweg in Amsterdam South, we found a warehouse building – anonymous and outdated, but with a surprising, raw quality and at one of the city’s final fringes. We transformed the building and moved with eight other creative offices from our previous workplace into the new space.
Now, Karper K. is more than just our collective home base: we present a place for unexpected and unpredictable combinations, a free space in the city that offers any maker a safe environment to evolve ideas.
We wanted to maintain the rawness of the original site, creating a sparking atmosphere that vitalises the creativity inside.
Above all, we wanted to maintain the rawness of the original site, creating a sparking atmosphere that vitalises the creativity inside. During the day, all various companies work side by side in the airy space on the east side of the building. To maximise the existing collaborations and exchanges between the businesses, the workspace was designed to be transparent and consistent.
We named the hall along our workspaces Free Space: an expansive room that is completely open in form, function and time of use. The space’s character enables it to spur a variety of cultural events and exhibitions, material tests and night events. On the street side lies the makerspace, which through its high windows functions as Karper K.’s physical showcase.
“[…] Hermanns sees parts of the office as an extension of the street, of public space: ‘We invite a lot of people in, whether it’s people who pass by or people within our community or people even further away. It doesn’t matter. They can use the space as they want. There’s only one thing that we ask of them: they have to give something back to the city. That’s intentionally a very broad statement. We want to add space for our community not police it.’” — Interview with Studioninedots associate Wouter Hermanns, FRAME #154
Pictured is an interactive lighting installation developed in collaboration with Synthetic State, and on display throughout the entire area.
Giving something back to the city.
To emphasise the unity of Karper K. and its users and create a space that permits continuous functional transition, the walls, cabinets and even relics were finished in one uniform, soft grey colour. A central element is the full-length cabinet at the workspace’s side, providing space for physical samples, models and intimate meeting areas. Colourful furniture and seating elements reinforce the place’s identity.
Through the shed roofs, the entire floor area is flooded with indirect natural light during the day. With PV panels on the roof, two air heat pump systems and underfloor heating and cooling, the building is sustainably redeveloped.
A new place for exchange and experimentation.
Amsterdam is becoming increasingly scarce in safe places where ideas can unfold. Striving to form new communities with collective impact, with Karper K. we open a new place for exchange and experimentation to the city, which remains in constant flux.