the pure theatricality of marcel wolterinck


the pure theatricality of marcel wolterinck
the Client
The Pure
of Marcel
Dutch designer Marcel Wolterinck has a predilection
for quality materials that are extraordinary, natural and luxurious.
It’s a love affair that began in childhood. 
Words Merel Kokhuis
Photos courtesy of Wolterinck’s World
The Client
The Client
‘I like order, rhythm and repetition’ 
When a client approaches you, what happens next?
Clients seek us out after seeing or experiencing
our work. They’re attracted to our style, and they
ask for projects based on the same approach.
Although we always remain true to our core
values, we also consider the wishes of the client,
of course. We don’t impose our ideas on the
client, but we do make sure that the end result is
a typical Wolterinck project.
How would you describe the style of a typical
Wolterinck’s World project?
What exactly does your company Wolterinck’s World do?
We create spatial concepts – permanent or
temporary – from architecture to interior design
and from landscape architecture to styling.
Because our team is made up of architects,
landscape architects, interior designers and
stylists, we can offer a total package. Our clients
include both private individuals and companies.
How far we go is up to the client.
And who are your clients?
Generally speaking, these are people who place
a great deal of value on their surroundings. They
have highly developed tastes and a preference
for quality. Our target group is not defined by
a specific culture – these are widely travelled
people, people who have seen much of the
world. They know what there is to buy, and they
appreciate materials that have been combined
with care. Although Wolterinck’s World is a Dutch
organization, we don’t aim our services at the
Dutch, most of whom don’t understand our style
and don’t realize that genuine quality costs money.
The Client
Probably as ‘pure theatricality’. We have a
predilection for quality materials that are
extraordinary, natural and luxurious. We use such
materials – horn, leather, natural stone and the
like – in every one of our projects. Usually we
opt for a palette of pure, earthy colours and a
look of optimum luxury. The fusion of interior and
exterior lies at the heart of every design. Terraces,
inner courtyards and other outdoor spaces flow
naturally from the interior and vice versa. We had
a good reason for giving our latest – and seventh
– book the title Outside In.
Where does this passion for natural materials and
quality come from?
It’s a love affair that began in childhood. When I
was only six years old, I knew I wanted to design
and furnish spaces. But I also had a penchant
for nature, flowers, plants and trees. Later, faced
with the need for a decision, I became a florist. I
created the most fascinating flower arrangements.
After an initial bout of unsuppressed enthusiasm,
my work became more orderly, more structured,
more coherent. I like order, rhythm and repetition.
-- Located in a rural village outside Amsterdam,
Marcel Wolterinck’s showroom is brimming with nature.
The Client
‘What I’m aiming for are timeless interiors’ 
Your company is only seven years old, but it seems to
have an ‘old soul’. Are you trying to create buildings and
interiors with a historical quality?
On the contrary. What I’m aiming for are timeless
interiors. A good foundation is crucial if you want
an interior that can both survive the ravages of
time and welcome the addition of accessories
in various styles. An example is the enormous
cabinet I had built for my office – a plain piece
made from dark wood. At the moment, it gives my
office the air of a classic library, but next month
– with the right adaptations – I can transform it
almost instantly into something that resembles an
Asian cabinet.
How did you move from the world of flowers into
the world of interiors?
It’s a smaller step than it appears to be. I was
trained as a florist and landscape architect, but
in the field of interior design, I’m an autodidact.
The two spheres are more closely entwined than
you might imagine. While I was designing gardens,
clients began asking me to include the terrace
in my drawings. Soon it was the terrace and the
conservatory, and, before I realized what was
happening, I was involved in the design of the
entire premises.
How is this evolution reflected in the work you do today?
Besides using flowers and plants, which still play a
major role in nearly all my projects, I continue to
follow the same modus operandi. In the same way
that I once selected the right shapes and colours
for a bouquet, I now choose the proper furniture
and accessories for the space in question. It’s
about finding the correct rhythm, the correct
combination. There’s a lot of symmetry and
repetition to be discovered in my work – qualities
that produce lovely sightlines and imbue interiors
with serenity and harmony.
The Client
I understand that you have plans to enter the world of
product design.
It seems like the appropriate step to take at this
point. Last year I had more than 50 employees
spread over two showrooms, including one in
Dubai, as well as an office, a shop and an orangery.
I was working much too hard. When I suddenly
found myself in hospital, I decided to mark time.
I sold various parts of the company, and now
I’m concentrating on the core of my work. But
breeding will out, as they say, so I’ll soon be
designing products, which most probably will be
manufactured by DK Home. I’m looking forward
to the challenge. 
Who makes the furniture and accessories that you use in
your projects?
We work with various manufacturers in the
high-end sector. Companies like Armani/Casa,
Promemoria, Ochre, Gervasoni and Meridiani. Not
only are their products used in our projects; we
also feature special items from their collections at
our showroom in Laren. In the case of accessories,
we often select designs from the DK Home
How does DK Home fit into the Wolterinck’s World
outlook on design?
I had worked with DK Home’s Jeroen Wolterinck
– not a relative, by the way – for seven years.
We had a good understanding and formed a great
team. Even then, I recognized our shared passion
for luxury, natural colours and, above all else,
special materials. I see the same passion in
DK Home’s product line, which is a perfect match
for the style that characterizes Wolterinck’s
-- In the garden of Wolterinck’s showroom, a former
orangery has been furnished to resemble a residential
environment. The entire interior, including the art on the
walls, is for sale.
The Client
- - Taking a cue from the seasons of the year, Wolterinck
changes the interior of his showroom four times annually.
In the near future, the collection will include products
designed by Wolterinck and produced by DK Home.
The Client
The Client