textile walls Felix Meritis

a physical manifestation of time.
seeing through the wall, borderless.
year 2020
The building on Keizersgracht 324 was opened by the Felix Meritis Society in 1788. During the intellectual movement The Enlightenment, Felix Meritis served as a location for the practice of various forms of art and science. i29, who is responsible for the interior design of the whole building, approached us to investigate and develop the textile wall coverings of the restaurant and the entrance of Felix Meritis – which brought us to immediately reference the history of this exceptional building. The zeitgeist of the Enlightenment period has a similarity with that of the present time. Many questioned the ways of thinking when it came to religion at the time. A group of people found support, enlightenment and future prospects within the realms of art and science. We are now at a point in time in which we are questioning our ways of thinking. How do we want to move forward? How should we move forward? A new era full of interesting developments is dawning. Felix Meritis is the physical embodiment for the curious mind; a hub of creativity, ideas and cross-overs.
Scanning the Sky
The restaurant, an environment where one can easily spend a few hours, demands an open and dazzling atmosphere. Mid blue is the colour that is the most open and offers a clear view, a hue of an infinite sky. The restaurant has depth in space, merely with 2 windows on the front side. By stretching the pieces of tactile wall with 'sky', they can be perceived as windows. Walls become borderless and see-through. In the pleasant interior atmosphere of which i29 brought to life, one finds oneself surrounded by the heavens. The old observatory situated on the roof is where, in the past, the sky was often studied during the day but mostly by night. On January 18th 2018, after a heavy storm (sun follows rain after all) we went up on the roof together with photographers Erik and Petra Hesmerg, who captured in 360º the slightly dramatic, yet, clear sky. These stills form the textile walls of the restaurant. Together with EE Exclusives, we translated the sky into a fabric consisting of shiny threads that alternate in loop length, resulting in a tactile depiction of the sky. By applying the loops horizontally, this enhances the idea of a horizon.
Physical Time
Years ago, one particular room at Felix Meritis was lost due to a fire – the Drawing Room. The Rijksmuseum archive contains many etchings and paintings that were made in the Drawing Room, in which the room itself is often visualised. We chose an etching by artist Reinier Vinkeles to translate into a textile wall. The etching is tufted in two colours – a technique that is generally applied to rugs. By opting for light and dark green, the textiles match the green hues of the i29 developed interior. The back of the panels depict a clearly recognisable etching. Yet, it is not visible. The front, however, is an abstract representation of the etching due to the threads being 10 centimeters long, each one poised in their individual manner. It is as though a memory from a long time ago remains faintly visible. Thus the result becomes a physical manifestation of time. The vertical line is emphasised by the hanging threads. Because people spend a limited amount of time in this space of the Felix Meritis, 'the vertical' emphasises the desired atmosphere. The textile walls demand human touch and can be in fact, felt and adorned.
design wall textiles:
Eline Ten Busschen
Mariana Anacleto
interior design:
development and production textile restaurant:
image textile entrance:
development and production textile entrance:
finishing textile:
photography sky: