roog Design is definitely the right address for design enthusiasts: you can shop, catch a beautiful avant-garde exhibition, have a delicious gourmet snack, enjoy a pleasant garden and even find a bed for the night. Right in the heart of old Amsterdam, in a house which is almost four centuries old, there is a store spread out on three floors, a gallery space for temporary exhibitions, a café, a tearoom and the one and only bedroom, namely the only room of the Droog Hotel.
Droog Design is housed in a seventeenth century building in the historic centre of Amsterdam. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the imperial crest, which is displayed on the exposed brick facade, dating from 1641. Originally a renowned textile manufacturing business, this building has kept intact most of its period details, which dialogues with great ease with its contemporary interior.
Photo by Droog Design.
Renny Ramakers is the soul of Droog, which was set up in 1993 in partnership with Gijs Bakker and jointly run until 2009. When Renny doesn’t design, she gathers around her architects, designers and curators, which contribute to new exhibitions design collections. Since the get-go, the team behind Droog had the right instinct; it has launched designers like Marcel Wanders, producing in 1996 its Knotted Chair and Hella Jongerius, who as a recent graduate was part of Droog’s design team.
In Dutch, Droog literally means dry/ arid; this reveals the meticulous key with which this brand, pioneer of new Dutch design since the early nineties, reads its products. The store is filled with original ideas and simple concepts, in an endeavour to better the quality of everyday life. And this even includes ultra-functional hardware designed in 2015 by Droog (screws, hinges, nuts, nails, hooks etc.) and introduced, during the Salone del Mobile, with the slogan Construct me, in their natural habitat, namely a hardware store in Milan.
Droog Hotel is on the top floor with magnificent views over the rooftops of Amsterdam. Photo by Thijs Wolzak.
Renny has named it the Droog Experience; this starts with extraordinary products which are both functional and affordable, but in matter of fact it’s the whole home which is the real unique experience. Through its 700 sqm, visitors are transported to an intelligent, ironic, delicate and sustainable world, which brings together the new and the old, the unique and the commonplace, perfection and imperfection, the beautiful and the ugly, illusion and reality, in a challenge which has no end.