top of page
Landskantoor Otrobanda 1972
Pierre Koenig Stahl House
Ettore Sottsass Indian Memory
Landskantoor Otrobanda 2019
Home remodelling Home extension Interior design

What is your style. . . ?

The question that often follows when you tell that you are an (interior)architect. In my experience, design is largely determined by context, location and position. It arises from 'solving the problem', the available budget, type of client, etc., not necessarily from a specific style.
Over the years, based on what inspires me, I have developed a clear idea about design within these principles. Okay, let's call it a style.

As a boy growing up on Curaçao I could stand on a corner for hours looking at the Landskantoor in Otrobanda. The modernist architecture was so different from the ubiquitous colonial architecture with its bright colors, ornaments and classical references. The 'modern' design touched me deeply: the minimal, the tranquility, the visibly functional elements and the fine combination of materials and color.

Later I became fascinated by the American 'Mid-Century' modernism as displayed in the Case Study Houses, these are the most beautiful minimalist homes ever, don't you agree?!

When I moved to the Netherlands, in the year that I started my architectural design study, I discovered the work of Ettore Sottsass. His work caused a storm in my modernist soul.
In response to functionalism, Sottsass introduces a missing link in modernism. For him, functionality alone is not enough, design must also be sensual and exciting. Subsequently I discovered postmodernism, the exuberant eighties architecture and design style, an explosion of form, colour, ornament and above all craziness and fun.

I take these experiences with me in my design work: In addition to the always important context (for example, a roof extension can never be seen separately from the existing building), there is no question that living spaces must be functional and easily usable. Good proportions, logical layouts, clear use of materials and natural light. At the same time, the stay in and around the home must be fun, so the design must also be exciting. This by making choices that transcend the functional.


As a designer I go for both organizing tranquility as preventing the result from being dull. Conversely, I prevent that too much happens, that the design is 'over the top' and then bores easily.

Standing in front of the Landskantoor in Otrobanda again in 2019, what a surprise; it's completely painted in pink!
The original combination of neutral white and sand tones has been replaced by a combination of light and darker pink. The pink didn't bother me for a second. The Landskantoor is still delightful and impressive.

In recent years, the term Minimal Maximalism has regularly appeared in popular online design media. A contradiction, which actually fits well with my work. A design in which you strive for maximum experience and at the same time ensure clarity and tranquility. So not too much and never too little.


Camilo Ridderplaat Dutch/Carribean Minimal Maximalist designer

bottom of page