AMSTERDAM – A literal and figurative extension of the city's W Hotel within the revived landmark Kas Bank, the recently opened X Bank is anything but a stuffy financial establishment. In fact, it's logo displays the word 'bank' with a giant 'X' over it.
Conceived by W Amsterdam and Europe Hotels | Private Collection, the X Bank is a supermarket of Dutch art, design and fashion. With 180 brands and makers represented, the location contains a comprehensive collection of creativity born in the Netherlands. In addition to supporting the creators by bringing their work to the masses, the store acts as a platform to innovative ideas by hosting exhibitions and lectures.
Situated only a hop, skip and a jump away from both Dam square and the Nine Streets district, the monumental Kas Bank building received a spruce-up, both inside and out. The respectful rejeuventation was completed by local practice Office Winhov, the same firm responsible for the renovation of the former exchange building which sits directly across the Spuistraat and houses the W Hotel.
Tel Aviv-based Baranowitz + Kronenberg Architecture conceived the interior scheme for the 700sqm store. Spanning the ground level, an extensive gallery dubbed X Bank Art Space welcomes visitors with its premier exhibition Potluck 1. Organised in collaboration with Juliette Jongma, Stigter van Doesburg and Martin van Zomeren, the expo shows a sampling of abstract notions on new materialism by artists Nathan Azhderian, Sema Bekirovic, Nathaniel Mellors, Navid Nuur, Mike Pratt and Anne de Vries. On the first floor, an endless maze unfurls to shop aisles upon aisles of Dutch creativity in the form of art works, furniture, garments and objects.
A board of five members is tasked with continuing X Bank's activities in line with its mission of promoting Dutch creativity. The chairman of X Bank's advisory board says the venue will bring 'a distinctive new take on fashion, art and design to the heart of the city.' Liran Wizman – owner of both W Amsterdam and Europe Hotels | Private Collection – promises: 'The addition of X Bank will bring something new and exciting to Amsterdam and is set to shake-up the hotel and retail industry.'