ARC18: Hoofdkantoor Studio Job Antwerpen – Studio Job


Studio Job first decided to move their Headquarters to Antwerp in 2003, drawn to the dynamic culture of a raw export city and it’s history, but all the while being one of the first Northern European cities experiencing the golden age and renaissance. Job Smeets explains ”Antwerp can be rough as Berlin but as refined as Bruges and that was a really exciting mix for me.

Toelichting: Studio JOB

The Northern Renaissance was a huge draw, it echoed our own Renaissance style of working. I also wanted to escape the suffocating Dutch design scene as our work was much more international and I felt it didn’t belong to one country or city we wanted to make it broader than that. If we stayed in the Netherlands we
would end up becoming some sort of local heroes being on a talk panel rotation about Dutch design. I felt the work is more important than just being one of those ‘talking heads’, we wanted to focus on our work, our ideas and our creativity, moving countries helps with that it keeps things fluid and changing and away from a local bubble.”

The 1950s concrete building, which was originally a Jewish school, features a 500 sq m rooftop space (a rare find in the city) and Smeets saw huge potential this, knocking down the walls and stripping it back to unite the brand’s universe all under one roof. The property has all the workings of a functional apartment – bedroom, bathroom and living space – but is designed with Studio Job’s ‘serious fun’ ethos, with many of their humorous and whimsical designs populating the interiors, creating an archive of the firm’s oeuvre.

‘It is overwhelming sometimes to see pieces from over 20 years of work all together in one space, it makes me realise how much we have done over the years and how prolific we have been,’ Smeets muses. Visitors are invited to enjoy this design journey inside the headquarters. ‘The plan was to create a Studio Job world where pieces are mixed with the styles and years sitting alongside each other, on paper this shouldn’t work but in reality it’s perfectly balanced in my mind,’ he continues. This transformative vision is certainly reflected in the space which includes everything from scale models to design highlights including the ‘Punch-a-wall’ bag for Gufram and the banana sculpture the studio made for Design Pride at Salone del Mobile. These are scattered alongside products by other artists
including Misha Kahn, and Smeets’ own father, Johan Smeets.

Elsewhere Smeets’ own office is inspired by the workspace of Italian Design legend Alberto Alessi, while a tomato-red tiled bathroom makes an impact with its deep copper tub and gold-hued appliances. There are surprises around every corner with each room exuding its own eccentric personality.
‘With minimalism you can hide behind the aesthetic values of line and colour,’ Smeets explains, ‘with an eclectic style you need to know what you are doing otherwise you overcook it. It could be a wellexecuted modern interior of a 90-year old-collector’. Both a living space and a working space it serves as the main Studio Job Headquarters and gallery to bring clients to get a full experience of the work of Studio Job over the last 20 years. “The aim was
to create an inspiring, fun and serious space to be in which really gives people a feeling of being fully immersed in the space. It is great to bring someone over for a tour, people are often shocked into silence their brain can’t really process everything that’s there, they’re not sure if it’s a gallery, or my office, or my home, and in fact it’s all three.”

“The space has been essence we needed a space for our collecting-rush. In the end I am just an old lady with a bad habit. The apartment was originally more residential and I wanted to change the purpose and feel but still keeping some living and working areas. The plan was to create a Studio Job world where pieces are mixed with the styles and years sitting alongside each other, on paper this shouldn’t work but in reality it’s perfectly balanced in my mind. Some people say it’s a crazy and intense space but for me it’s a interior reflecting in part the inside of my head, and the history of our work.”


Ontwerp en realisatie

  • Adres Diamant district
  • Plaats Antwerpen
  • Projecttitel Hoofdkantoor Studio JOB
  • Projectarchitect(en) Job Smeets
  • Programma hoofdkantoor woonhuis galerie
  • Oplevering juli 2018
  • Opdrachtgever Studio JOB
  • Ontwerpbureau Studio JOB
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