Lessons from Amsterdam

If you are looking for fresh design ideas, this is Amsterdam great place to start. The mix of contemporary design and historic fabric is inspiring.

The narrow streets of Amsterdam are a visual treat. Design is evident everywhere. Every shop, office or cafe, is stylish and unique. Whether it’s a budget or prestige. Bold graphics, and textures, clever up cycled accessories.


Shopping in Amsterdam
Shoe repair in Amsterdam


There are a lot of lessons for inverness. There is a demand for imaginative design, but also a real respect for heritage. They embrace it all and understand the value that it adds to their sense of place and identity. Edgy contemporary branding and details, contrast to the historic building fabric to create a vibrant energy. Layer upon layer of imagery create depth and intrigue.


Amsterdam Marqt convenience store
Marqt convenience store in the centre of Amsterdam


The historic merchant houses are protected. Rather than complain about the restrictions imposed by their structure or abandoning them, Amsterdam has risen to the challenge, using imagination to overcome the problems, turning a potential problem into fantastic opportunity.  The narrow frontages mean that every street has a vast array of small shops, tightly packed together filling every street with a vibrant bustling atmosphere.


Amsterdam historic streets
Amsterdam traditional streets and canals


Everyone seems to have bought into the idea of what Amsterdam’s identity is. It is proud of its past but it is growing and evolving, modern, dynamic and young.  This shared vision allows the younger generation to drive development.


Amsterdam Westerdok
Contemporary housing in tune with Amsterdams identity



MAAC studio are accredited conservation architects working with traditional buildings throughout the North of Scotland.

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