In the inner court of an Amsterdam Block, hidden from the outside world, the owners, graphic designers, wanted a house but were only allowed to make an office. The client also had a strong desire for a building that would attract attention on a national level, so that in the slipstream the design office would also attract attention, all on a small budget.
It was possible to achieve this by making a simple two-layer box, constructed out of thick blocks, that avoided isolation layers and that could easily be built. Upstairs a spatial series of declining heights lead to a terrace. Downstairs the height inclines towards the garden. By cladding the complete building (the walls, floors, fences, mailbox, ping pong table, benches, pool, mullions) with an orange polyurethane coating, a remarkable, recognizable building appeared that drew attention to the graphic design office. Architecture as a true advertiser!
Immediately attention was grabbed: the building started to be used as a background for advertisements. But at the same time, some of the neighbours started to complain about unlivable circumstances caused by the bright orange colour. It led to national media attention. It was reduced to those who found it aggressive versus those who found it cheerful and colourful. It was amazing that the colour of one house could lead to such a fuss. The design worked! The building got the attention the client wanted.
In 2005 Studio Thonik was painted green after many complaints. In order to solve this neighbourhood quarrel, the city of Amsterdam upgraded the non-residential zone in which the building is situated to a working and living area in exchange for a new colour which allowed the owners to move in.