The once-in-a-lifetime project opposite the Royal Palace includes more than 100 new original art works by Studio Job, as well as new design pieces from the studio. The spectacular space includes an office, conference room, shop, kitchen and client meeting space.
Creutz & Partners
Covering four floors of a private, 19th century building opposite the Grand Ducal Palace in the core of the Old Town, »Always Close« includes more than 100 new original art works by Studio Job, as well as design pieces from the studio. It includes an office, conference room, shop and client meeting space.
With a series of aesthetically distinct spaces, the interior assemblage is a reflection of an atelier operating at the peak of its creative and production powers, as well as an irreverent comment on the power of money.
“This felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a functional interior that is art and design, object and function, all at the same time,” said studio founder Job Smeets. “An interior where every piece is tailor made and unique, creating a portrait of us and of the client.”
“Creutz & Partners is a perfect example of a client that is intelligent and secure enough to let go and assign projects without creative restrictions,” he added. “Everything you see is connected to the core of the business, money.”
As the building is not open to the public, Studio Job has created a fantastical façade installation of custom-made pieces, including heraldic flags, lightboxes, hanging signs, planters, neon work and a hand-moulded Creutz & Partners sign. The design riffs on the classic features of the palace opposite and hints at the interior, creating a curiosity and a tension that partially inspired the name of the project. “I loved the concept of a shop that was always there, but always closed, a little bit like the palace opposite,” explained Smeets.
»Always Close« also refers to the close relationship between the 20-year-old Asset Management firm and its clients, and the closeness between Studio Job and the client, as well as the idea of “closing a deal”.
This space is designed to represent a shop, with a counter and seating area featuring the Studio Job for Seletti Hamburger Chair and an original Studio Job Curved Steel Lamp, 75 Squirrel-shaped ceramic money banks, each holding a gold nut, and a bronze bucket filled with 10,000 individually cast, gold Creutz & Partners coins.
“It’s a shop that carried the features of a shop without the function of a shop,” said Smeets. “At that moment the shop can become an installation.”
Styled to suggest a 1950s office with highly styled interiors, the first floor includes a large custom-made executive desk, a seating area with street lamp art piece, storage and a coffee corner. The latter accommodates a large coffee table, based on a deer skeleton.
“We thought the office should be a tiny bit more functional than the shop as the shop area was the crazy entrance and in the office deals are made,” explained Smeets. “We created a hang-out area and executive desk that reminds us of the 1950s when the office had its biggest moment in design – all with a little Satanic smile. It’s an office as I have never seen it before. It would be a joy to go and work there every day. I can see myself there with my lunch tin.”
The second floor is the conference room, and is also the purest art space within the building. The space was created in response to the idea that the conference room is where deals might be closed.
Smeets refers to a strong link between art and business: “It’s a fact that business people know their art. In this room is the largest conference table in Luxembourg – this claim may not be true, but what is true is above the table is hanging the largest cigar of Luxembourg and maybe of the world.”
The basement is the oldest space in the building, dating back to the 16th century. Designed to retain the atmosphere of a traditional stone cellar or crypt, Studio Job’s installation features church bells on the ceiling and skulls as seating, but also offers the luxuries of an elegant events space for hosting dinners and conferences, with a robot that acts as a cigar and drinks dispenser.
Creutz & Partners throughout the Villa Louise has a history of commissioning the world’s best chefs to create one-off meals, so a custom-made kitchen takes up one end of the basement. This includes bespoke cast-bronze handles and lettering on the fridge that spells out ‘SMUG’.
“The kitchen is a dungeon as the cellars in Luxembourg are, but the kitchen is also an extremely cool place to hang out, even for a star chef,” said Smeets. “It’s like a crypt of a church but in a funfair way. The fridge is SMUG not SMEG and ‘it may contain traces of A- Class drugs’.”
Studio Job and Creutz & Partners
The relationship between Studio Job and Creutz & Partners began in 2017, when the asset manager commissioned the studio to create a functional art piece from a vintage 1960s VW Samba Van – a project that is still ongoing. Yves Creutz, Executive Member of the Board of Directors of Creutz & Partners, then approached Job Smeets to discuss an idea for an interior project, which then became »Always Close«.