Amsterdam – A man walks into a bar on Kwakersplein. Before 6 p.m. he may order a drink and people-watch through the window. But come sunset, the mirrored panels above the bar swing on their axes, and ‘Karavaan Caffeine’ becomes ‘Cocktail Karavaan.’ This café-cum-bar is Studio Modijefksy’s latest hospitality concept: the Amsterdam-based designers are also the minds behind local spots La Cervecería and Bar Botanique.
Originally, Kwakersplein was a site of polders and dikes. In the 19th century Amsterdam started expanding past the limits of its old city walls, and the site was dammed for development. Karavaan, Dutch for ‘caravan’, is a reference to all those who once passed through Amsterdam West in droves. Studio Modijefsky’s interior concept riffs on the romanticism of the caravanners: what landscapes did travellers encounter as they travelled to the Netherlands? Had they seen deserts? Were there meadows, swamps, forests and mountains? Thinking of these landscapes, the studio set out to design an interior that encompassed them all.
Upon entering the bar, a circular ceiling light marks the meadow-inspired area. Here the interior is comprised of a natural oak bar, white ceramics, staggered yellow tiles and a wool-carpeted ceiling. As the bar wraps around the corner, it transitions into a palette of swampy blues, with a glossy ceiling and stucco walls and column.