Kitchen by i29 Interior Architects: 2017 Best of Year Winner for Retail/Museum Dining
To attract hungry shoppers at a high-end department store, De Bijenkorf, this café lives up to its name by showcasing the spectacle of cooking, with an accent on the fresh and the artisanal. “We banned stainless steel, because it says ‘food factory,’” Jasper Jansen explains. His firm’s other founding partner, Jeroen Dellensen, elaborates, “It might be self-service, but that’s not how it needed to appear.”
Eschewing the industrial, the pair opted for a natural and nature-inspired palette: oak with a clear finish and acrylic tinted verdant green or sunshine yellow. A play on the word bijenkorf, meaning beehive, takes the form of a honeycomb abstraction: hexagonal floor tile. The organic theme culminates in a luxuriant plant wall, the living heart of the 9,000-square-foot space.
Its unusual shape, a perfect triangle, was dictated by the location inside a glassy corner tower added during an overhaul of the store by the architecture firm Rijnboutt. To take advantage of the corner’s city views and plentiful daylight, Dellensen and Jansen kept the plan open and sight lines unbroken, which also emphasizes the wide choice of dishes on offer. Chairs and stools represent an equally varied selection of high-end names. However, rather than simply relying on luxury, the architects astutely emphasized originality and attention to detail, since the look had to appeal to both well-heeled professionals and a large student population.
Project Team: Begona Masia; Egle Jacinaviciute; Miklos Kroeze; Ronald Van Vlijmen; René Sjoerdstra; Susanne Bakkenist.