AMSTERDAM – Circular mirrors and bulbs reflect and illuminate the lush vegetation which speckles the full height of a double storey cafe interior.

Amsterdam East's cobblestone-paved and brick building-lined streets have become mottled with a leafy locale. Near the Javastraat, a corner cafe offers Amsterdammers and transients a tropical scene capable of temporarily transporting the mind to the island of Java, possibly all while sipping a cup of Java. Against vibrant green walls, hanging ferns, palms and birds of paradise encompass coral marble topped tables.

Studio Modijefsky's identity and interior scheme for the venue stem from the structure and it's local history. Once the home of a gym and then bar De Ponteneur, the corner-wrapping brick façade is penetrated by eleven two-storey tall windows, each sport a letter from the locale's name with custom typography. 

To accentuate the daylight which pervades the grand glass panes, a series of mirrors mounted on the ceiling reflect the natural illumination, hanging vegetation and dynamic surroundings. As trains pass along the line running parallel to the locale, their movement is reflected in the circular mirrors which suspend, swag and hang like gymnastic rings.

Green walls and concrete flooring topped with botanical selection of Palm trees, philodendron, ferns and monsteras are accentuated with a bar coated with whispy foliage-printed tiles. 

Railings inspired by the original ones decorating De Ponteneur form a spatial screen between the bar and lounge, a below-grade room tinted with coral pink hues. Bulbs sandwiched between circular glass plates form lighting which amplify the circular motif with matching shadows.

Visit Bar Botanique at Eerste van Swindenstraat 581 in Amsterdam.

Project details
Bar Botanique Cafe Tropique
Location Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Program Restaurant cafe
Assignment Interior design, identity design and branding
Status Realised June 2016
Size 350-sq-m
Client De Drie Wijzen uit Oost, Willem Klinkenberg
Design Studio Modijefsky; Esther Stam, Natalia Nikolopoulou, Kristina Petrauskaite, Moene van Werven, Carlotta Bassi

Photos Maarten Willemstein


We are still seeking work the world over to be considered for the upcoming edition of Night Fever. If you have designed any places to drink, dine or dream recently, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact us or find out more information here.