We head to Amsterdam to see the latest iteration of this popular members club
It’s been some years in discussion, but Soho House has at last opened the doors to its newest hotel and members club in central Amsterdam. And as you’d expect from the trend-setting group, the interiors offer inspiration overload.
The new club occupies a prominent and historic Bungehuis landmark right on the canals. This Soho House follows the group’s tried-and-tested formula, featuring a Cecconi’s restaurant, House Kitchen, guest rooms (79), Cowshed spa and gym, a screening room, plus ample club spaces decked out with antique and custom-made furniture. And of course, in true Soho House tradition, the new club is crowned by the group’s signature rooftop pool and bar, in this case wrapping around the entire building and offering a 360-degree views of Amsterdam city. Plus, it being the ‘dam, there is also parking for 75 bikes (and a workshop for repairs).
The imposing six-storey 1930s building is the latest architectural find that the Soho House Group has commandeered for its network of private members clubs. Like its recent White City House opening in the iconic former Television Centre, the building is iconic to the city. Built as a trading office, and since serving as the humanities building for the University of Amsterdam, its six stories are covered in limestone and granite, with bay windows on each side, and no shortage of art-deco flourishes. Large bronze-framed bay windows lend the façade its rigid geometry, while inside the glazed tilework of the ground floor lobby, lift lobbies and main stairway adds period character.
In keeping with House style, the interior design takes its cues from its host building and its surroundings. For example, the delicate art deco pattern of the stained glass windows that line the grand staircase is replicated in textiles, such as bed throws. New signage and custom-made lighting has been designed to complement the 1930s tiled interior. Corridors are clad in limestone, tiles have been repaired by a specialist team, art deco lighting, original wall panelling and mosaic tiled floors have all been restored.
The fifth floor club room features high-gloss black timber floors, a feature found in historic Dutch residential properties, while the bar front is lined in fabric – an old tradition in Amsterdam was to use fabric instead of wallpaper or paint as a way to warm a place up. And then there’s the lighting. Floor and table lamps are all reconditioned antiques sourced predominantly in the Netherlands, while ceiling and wall lighting is bespoke, made by a local supplier.
Even the art collection takes its cue from the city and is made up of works by local artists, all showing a contemporary take on 15th and 16th century Dutch art.
On the 5th Floor, the main members’ space overlooks the canal, with bold fabrics, antique furniture mixed with specially designed pieces, geometric rugs and a high-gloss black floor. The wall panelling is inspired by the listed detailing in the Bungehuis, with the original blue tiling, and a bar clad in fabric inspired by the Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder ‘hidden church’ in the city.
On the other side, the House Kitchen is decorated with pinks and Hague blues, with banquette seating, lounge chairs and vintage tables and lamps, and a big open kitchen and deli counter. A rug runs down the centre of the room, with a tiled floor and timber detailing, and linen fabrics and plants, making the space feel light and open.
The screening room on the same floor has high gloss lacquered and velvet clad walls, mirrored tables, velvet armchairs and footstools and vintage lamps on individual side tables, plus a ribbed timber bar serving drinks and snacks.
Over in the bedrooms, antique pieces are mixed with specially designed furniture and rugs. Each of the bedrooms retains the 1930’s timber panelling and stained glass windows, with prominent art deco sculptures. The bed throws and fabrics are inspired by the original windows in the grand Bungehuis staircase, with tables, poufs and sofas designed by Soho Home.
Above the ground floor level, the property is structured around an internal courtyard, so despite its imposing appearance from outside, the interior is composed of compact, moderately-scaled spaces that are flooded with natural light.
Cecconi’s restaurant overlooks the canal and has a glass retractable roof, with plants weaved into the ceiling, leather banquettes, vintage rugs, and specially made pendant lights, with the signature Cecconi’s marble striped floor in deep red.
Even the rooftop is an Instagrammer’s dream, with a geometric-pattern tiled floor and pretty parasol-covered sun loungers.
The new house has already inspired a new interiors collection of furniture, lighting, tableware, textiles and accessories, available at Soho Home. Collection highlights include a velvet chair in burnt orange, cushions and rugs inspired by the paintings of the Dutch masters and an upholstered bed featuring a headboard which reflects the silhouettes of the rooftops of Amsterdam.
Soho House is accepting membership applications for its new club now. Soho House Amsterdam is open for business, but Cecconi’s and the Cowshed spa open in September.
Soho House Amsterdam, Spuistraat 210, 1012 VT Amsterdam, Netherlands. For more info www.sohohouseamsterdam.com