Self-service restaurant in The Hague’s de Bijenkorf store, zoned for different users and referencing Dutch Expressionist architecture and Johannes Vermeer
The Kitchen is a self-service restaurant on the top floor of the de Bijenkorf department store in the centre of The Hague. The concept for the design was developed through the historical and current context of the famous building; the provision of bespoke dining areas for different customers; and references to Dutch old master painter Johannes Vermeer.
De Bijenkorf is a luxury Dutch department store that has been operating for over 140 years. Their store in The Hague was designed in 1926 by architect Piet Kramer, and the use of brick patternation, timber panelling and, above all, decorative glass, references the building’s rich Dutch Expressionist heritage. The stained glass windows that form the façade of the building are such an intrinsic part of Kramer’s design that we used them both as context and inspiration for the dining experience. The dining areas are configured against the windows around the perimeter to provide views out to the centre of The Hague, and the entrance threshold draws further inspiration with a delicate glass and metal façade with varying textured glass panels.
To offer a variety of seating options for groups, families, individuals and people of all ages, the dining spaces are planned over four distinct zones: the canteen, the café, the bar and the restaurant. Each has differing moods and dining formats lit specifically to change as the day shifts.
Although Vermeer was born and died in Delft, The Hague was the diplomatic centre of Holland at the time of its Golden Age, and much of the painter’s success is attributed to his popularity there. We therefore chose Vermeer-inspired hues and tones throughout the design, the white ceilings contrasting with bright green walls.