March 16, 2012

In Marcel's Place - Marcel Wander's Design Studio

Elle Decor Italia
by Marc Heldens
photo by Mark Seelen

Marcel Wander's new studio in Amsterdam is a horizontal building over several floors.

He spends half his time abroad, and the other half in Amsterdam. Every morning Marcel Anders strolls through the Jordaan area to get to Westerhuis, the building where his design studio is based. It is during these walks through the city that he finds the ideas for his latest projects. He looks inside his soul to find the "burning flame", as he defines his creative mind. He loves working like this and inspiring his team in the process. "My task is also to spread my creativity around", he explains, "which is why I needed a new design office. This horizontally-structured building is perfect for my kind of organization. All the members of the international team work on the same floor, which creates great synergy." The studio is split across two levels, with reception areas on the fourth floor and the beating creative heart of the operation on the third floor. "This space is a very fertile ground", Wanders continues. "The people who work here are important to me and their creative spirit needs total freedom. My studio is like a home from home, and my team is like a family that fills me with energy.

My projects are like puzzles, and everybody makes their contribution: myself, the Marcel Wanders Studio, the various international manufacturers and clients. My work has sometimes been defined as quirky, but I believe it's better described as a "fantasy", because what counts is creating surprise, happiness and innovation. I also have a deep respect for everything that is old. I like working with past and present archetypes from different cultures, because they often reveal wonderful values." When we ask him to talk about his greatest fantasy and his greatest vision, Marcel Wanders doesn't think twice: his fantasy is to design a mosque. Meanwhile, his greatest vision is already coming to fruition: a book called "The World Heritage", a collection of his sources of inspiration and of various archetypes from around the world, all mixed up and captured in photographs.

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