Thursday, October 16


X+L turned an old Amsterdam gallery into a jewellery shop in just one month's time.

Entering the Gem Kingdom in the 'Negen Straatjes' (Dutch for nine small streets, a shopping area in the city of Amsterdam) feels as if entering a stage! This focused feeling is exactly what Xander Vervoort and Leon van Boxtel – the designers behind X+L – have intended when they turned an old gallery into a jewellery shop within a month. The dark oak floor with its rough finish and the black painted walls and ceiling provide the humble surrounding for the jewellery to perform its show. Placed in cabinets and drawers which are covered in skin tone velvet, the delicate actors - designed by Gem Kingdom’s own Johanna Titselaar and Bernard Jongstra – play their role on neutral ground. X+L wanted to emphasize traditional craftsmanship in a mixture of old and new. Inspired by old venetian decoration they decided on raddled velvet as the dominating material. The light skin tone colour is based on what jewellery is worn on – Human skin - and sets the attention dragging contrast to the dark surrounding. Only the front of the cabinets is finished but the timbered back is left undone and clearly visible for customers to underline the wanted stage feeling. ‘We wanted it to look like it could be taken out and placed somewhere else’ says van Boxtel who has designed a special furniture item which can be used as a prop to complete the scenery.

But Gem Kingdom is not a play to be watched. Customers are required to take part in the action: In order to see the whole collection of necklaces, bracelets and rings every drawer has to be opened which leads to another wanted interaction. Very much to the liking of the designers the signs of usage are clearly visible on the light delicate material. X+L ‘hope this will look nicer in time.’

Words Frederike Bettermann
Photos courtesy of X en L

via Frame

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