The making of GRASpunt
This article was originally published at www.rogierrouwet.nl
GRASPUNT | ASKO|SCHÖNBERG
In 2020 we’ve taken care for the design and realisation of a new space for Asko|Schönberg: GRASpunt in North Amsterdam. The space had been in use as a rehearsal studio and office by music ensemble the Nieuw Ensemble for years. Asko|Schönberg is one of the leading ensembles for new music. With limited resources the ambition is to make GRASpunt a place for makers and the public.
In summer we started to renovate the existing (garage-)space together with employees and musicians. Bars behind the windows are replaced by wooden hatches (including self made wooden hinges), the carpet is removed partially to polish the concrete floor underneath, the carpet that remains is thoroughly cleaned and the walls are almost white now. We have worked with the materials already present wherever possible, for what is added we’ve worked with left over materials from previous projects or bought second hand products.
After having done the more general work, with the purpose of bringing tranquillity and light in as the foundation for future use, special care is given to the twenty existing acoustic panels that have been furnished with new fabrics in collaboration with Isfrid Angard Siljehaug and to three new tables. Each of the three tables has a different height: 35, 75 and 95 cm. In order to afford different uses and postures accordingly. They are one together and might as well be used throughout the space independently.
Made of solid oak that was sold as fire wood in the Achterhoek, a region in the East of The Netherlands, a pile of round trunks. It was taken to the sawmill and was given time to dry for years. Carefully selected and processed for these furniture pieces. To draw attention to the tables the oak has been treated with iron sulfate that causes a reaction with components in the timber, in search of a deep blue. After having tested the treatment on two stools to find the right water and iron sulfate ratio it was thrilling to give color to the three tables, the natural oak is beautiful as well and except for the treatment the tables were done. Details in the tables are the dowels of natural oak that show the joints between parts and the different pattern through which the different parts of each tabletop are glued together.
The blue of the oak is also found in the new fabrics for the acoustic panels together with other colors. The fabrics of unbleached linen with colored linen for the details are designed and hand woven by Isfrid in Amsterdam. This way the carefully positioned panels are of a renewed significance to the space.
Situation before (and the current in terms of the number of instruments):
Design, supervision and realisation by Rogier Rouwet.
Fabrics and furnishing of acoustic panels by Isfrid Angard Siljehaug
Polishing of concrete floor by Hardeman Vloerbewerking.
Cleaning of carpet by Aquarius International.
Thanks to the employees and musicians of Asko|Schönberg for the effort put into cleaning-, paint- and carpentry work.