The first records about the “Het Witte Kasteel” property, the white castle in the Dutch province of North Brabant, go back to the 14th century. Spanish kings, Louis XIV and Napoleon Bonaparte visited there. In the immediate vicinity, on the same property, there is a little house that used to accommodate the castle’s staff. In 2010, Francine Broos and her partner Piet took over this small “monument”, restored it from scratch and built the workspace for their agency, “Francine Broos Interieurarchitecten”, in short, “Studio”, on the pasture in front of it. A project, as intuitive as it is radical, realised with Création Baumann textiles and Francine Broos’ playful handling of old and new, proportions and contrasts, light and materials.
I look at the building’s architecture and the room’s potential—this includes light conditions, shade, size and position of the windows and ceiling height. The building’s structure and the client’s requests are crucial for our designs.
Working with space and creating a calm base are the starting points of our work. Interiors interest me because of the different textures and furniture from different eras. Juxtaposing our age-old home with our radically modern studio offered a lot of creative freedom. For example, placing an antique rug next to modern classics. Or the way the fine texture of the UNIVERSAL curtain and the rough walls of the living room wonderfully complement each another. I’m very happy about the result.
Working with the room is our most important starting point. If functional elements have an aesthetic value at the same time, then an interior needs not much more. To us, it is important that the living area is suggestive of its inhabitant’s identity. Rounding off art and personal items creates a unique interior with a very personal story.
Création Baumann’s wonderful materials added massive value to our living and working environment. Our living space has become cosier and now seems to be more elevated, which makes it even more attractive. In our bedroom, the use of silk created a luxurious atmosphere. The acoustic properties of our studio also improved significantly.
OUR VISION IS TO USE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE TO KEEP THE STYLES OF THE INDIVIDUAL BUILDINGS CLEARLY RECOGNISABLE SO THEY MUTUALLY EMPOWER THEIR EXPRESSIVITY.
BAUDOLINO is a very resilient textile: a great addition to the existing collection. But UNIVERSAL’s clarity or SERATA’s innovative strength also fascinate me. The collection is pure and consists of beautiful materials in great variety and high quality. What I particularly like is Création Baumann’s great respect for the environment.
It was exciting to hang curtains in the studio—in a minimalist room such as this one, you always have to be weary of overload. Choosing different hues of grey and textures, such as those in SERATA and DELTACOUSTIC, flowing out into the concrete walls, the floor and the ceiling, has created a beautiful contemporary scenery.
My style is international, pure, clear, contemporary and persistent. We definitely find modern architecture more exciting. Without modern architecture, innovation and development processes simply stand still.
WE DESIGN THE BASE THAT ENABLES ITS INHABITANTS TO EXPRESS THEIR IDENTITY
The variety of our assignments and having to deal with a host of different people. I keep in close prolonged contact with many of our clients. When I meet them again years later to find out that they are still happy with the advice we gave them, it makes me very happy.
It is a calm environment with an international touch and a lot of memories of beautiful travels. During the day, I like working in spacious rooms; in my spare time, I enjoy relaxing in a cosy environment.
Francine Broos works intuitively, instinctively. She draws her inspiration from nature, her travels, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Peter Zumthor or Tadao Ando. In all the projects of her agency, that was funded in 1983, she strives for the room’s essence, the interior’s original character, for what remains when all the unnecessary has been stripped off and perception has been granted maximum freedom. Modelled on the Japanese, her concepts are based on the relationship between texture and its environment, between inside and outside—concepts based on harmony and whose highest goal is to achieve subtle beauty and profound simplicity.
"Carte Blanche" is Création Baumann's invitation to selected interior designers to interpret a collection in a location of their choice in their own style - showcasing the range of possibilities for textile room design using fabrics from this traditional Swiss company.
Artistic direction, styling, project management:
Francine Broos and Bas Leenders for Francine Broos Interieurarchitecten.
Photography: Verne Photography
Architonic spoke with Philippe Baumann about the novelty SINFONIACOUSTIC, about acoustic management at the workplace and an occasional crying baby.
Combining ordered aspects with creative elements: with this in mind, the plain FOCUS fabric from Création Baumann is becoming a new classic for opaque curtains.
For 30 years, Dutch interior designer Francine Broos has been developing her own concept about the interaction between people and their environment: Nowhere else does her approach’s delightful consistency become so apparent as in the contrast between her living and working spaces.