NYR Studio

Team Joni Nieuwenhuysen
Bruno Spaas
Location New Yorkkaai 81 B-2000 Antwerp
Year 2023
Contractors Deriemaeker Kollektief (Carpentry)
Mentens Marijn (Painting)
Press Yatzer

Optical illusions have been used in architecture ever since the Greeks started messing with the visual perception of proportion, lines and angles. Throughout millennia, artists and architects have teased and intrigued by making buildings and spaces appear different from what they actually are. The interior design of NYR Studio, a 50 square meter studio apartment located in the new harbour developments in Antwerp, is a contemporary twist on this phenomenon, also known as ‘trompe l’oeil’.

NYR Studio is part of the newly built waterfront project, New York Residence, on Kattendijkdok-Oostkaai, designed by the London architectural office, Sergison Bates. Situated on the ground floor, the studio is accessible through a green and lush inner courtyard. To comprise a living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and utility room, NYR Studio has relatively few square meters, a classic studio challenge in terms of space. Yet, what it does not offer in width, it offers in height. With a more than five-meter-high ceiling, the space was calling for an intervention, to somehow make use of the verticality and create a unified atmosphere.

On all surfaces, walls, ceilings and floors, a striped pattern has been painted in two sober grey tones. Pointing in many different directions, the lines are altering the spatial perception, making the kitchen feel wider and lower and the mezzanine higher and more spacious. Strategically placed mirrors also help expanding the sense of space, like on the kitchen backdrop. The mirrors also add luminosity, as does the warm and intense yellow colour, painted inside the cabinets and throughout the entire bathroom and hallway surfaces.

With just a few yet strong operations, the stripes, the mirrors and the yellow, NYR Studio stands out as an atypical and unexpected interior, intended for short-stay visits, offering guests an uncommon and uplifting experience.