Amsterdam’s luxurious Panorama Penthouse does away with walls to offer its habitants 180-degree views of the seaside and city center. Tasked with the remodel of this top-floor apartment housed in a former office space, Bureau Fraai steered away from view-obstructing walls, opting instead for four free-standing oak volumes to form a unique open-floor concept.

“The surroundings are always present in every part of the penthouse, making you fully aware of the changing colors of the seasons, the tides, and of the sunrises and sunsets that are never the same,” the Amsterdam-based studio says. With sweeping views being the star of the apartment, the interiors take on a more neutral approach to colors, textures and materials. The studio adapted the color palettes accordingly, using light oak wood to reference dunes and beaches for the seaside-facing parts of the penthouse, and sober grey tones for the spaces fronting the city skyline.

The free-standing volumes do more than contain the master bathroom, closet, sauna and office space: they organise the penthouse layout without dividing it into closed-off rooms. The living areas, hallways and bedrooms remain separate but connected, and can further be privatised by closing the fully glazed sliding doors integrated neatly into the wooden volumes.

The 4.75-meter ceiling height comfortably accommodates a mezzanine level used as additional storage space and as a lookout point that overlooks the rest of the penthouse. 

Bureau Fraai operates under the philosophy that architecture has to embrace one’s identity and make it flourish. “We do not aim for the obvious route, but rethink existing conceptions in the field and look for meaningful detours that make life interesting,” says the studio.

Photography © Flare Department (Mart Goossens)

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