It took us two years, but it’s here. Yesterday the Karel Appel House opened its doors in the east of Amsterdam. The Karel Appel House is a mixed-use housing and art project developed by housing association De Key with our consulting and advice. It’s a tribute to the famous avant-garde CoBrA painter Karel Appel who was born in the Dapperbuurt and started his tremendous international painting career there. He passed away in 2006.
Right at the place of birth a renovated social house is transformed into a residence for international artists working at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts, where Appel himself used to study between 1942 and 1944. These artists will be staying for the period of 11 months. The last month of each year the artists will make place for a temporary mini-museum in the four apartments of the Karel Appel house. Yesterday the CoBrA Museum unveiled its first exhibition featuring an overview of Appel’s life and work.
The apartments in the Karel Appel House are redesigned by our friends of DUS Architects. Their colorful design makes use of the characteristic Appel colors and consists of metal walls that transform the standard two room social housing apartment into a six room apartment. Although some of those six rooms should in fact be called cupboards, their design facilitates a maximum of flexibility.
The finishing touch of the project is an artwork by Martijn Sandberg. On the facade of the building a bronze Apple carries the text ‘KAREL APPEL WAS HIER’ to give expression to the special fact that one of the most influential painters of last century was born here. If you are in Amsterdam, you should take a look at Dapperstraat 7.