studio modijefsky converts historic tearoom in amsterdam's vondelpark into modernist taproom

studio modijefsky converts historic tearoom in amsterdam's vondelpark into modernist taproom

studio modijefsky has converted the blauwe theehuis, a historic tearoom in the heart of the most popular park in amsterdam, the vondelpark, into the latest taproom of dutch microbrewery brouwerij ‘t ij. originally built in 1937 under the influence of the nieuwe bouwen movement – the dutch answer to the architecture of bauhaus – the building is characterized by geometric forms, raw finishes, and modernist materials, all of which have been preserved and reinterpreted in a contemporary way within the new modijefsky converts historic tearoom in amsterdam's vondelpark into modernist taproomall images by maarten willemstein



for its second location (the first being an old municipal bath house with the biggest wooden windmill in the netherlands, where the company has been making quality craft beers since 1985), brouwerij ‘t ij has tapped studio modijefsky to transform the instantly recognizable former tearoom, blauwe theehuis, into a tasting room within the lush greenery of the vondelpark. surrounded by an over 1000 sqm terrace, the small-scale building comprises a unique, dodecagonal floorplan, with three sharp-angled entrances placed in each one out of the four corners. on the ground floor, the wooden front bar follows the symmetrical lines of the façade, facing all entrances simultaneously, and welcoming customers arriving from all directions.



a refined textured glass rack with hand painted beer names connects three solid supporting columns above the bar, while its subtle steel details come together to create a folding ostrich egg  – the iconic symbol of brouwerij ’t ij. behind it, an irregular, mirror-clad back bar wraps around the core staircase that leads to the upper floor, once again following the geometrical façade, reflecting the surrounding trees and displaying a variety of well-known brouwerij ‘t ij’s labels. the ground level is characterized by a dark blue ceiling, round wall lights, terrazzo floors, warm wood, and aged brass accents, effortlessly forming the dynamic heart of the entire modijefsky converts historic tearoom in amsterdam's vondelpark into modernist taproom



on the upper level, studio modijefsky has created a small restaurant room with a roof terrace, where customers can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding trees and ponds. materials used downstairs reappear here in a different way: terrazzo previously used as floor finish forms the bar top, aged zinc plates and blue square tiles clad the bar front. the shape of the bar this time follows the lines of the back wall of the building, accentuated by a perfectly symmetrical, concentric wooden floor, with pattern resembling a spider web. both inside and outside, the circular shape of the upper terrace is accented by round wall lights, adding a playful merry-go-round feeling which can be observed from far away corners of the park.



the original white and blue palette, dictated by the monument status of the building, has been preserved and reused in a more daring way, while classic modernist materials beloved by the nieuwe bouwen movement, such as concrete, glass,and steel, have been used to create interior elements including the back bar, glass rack, railings and furniture. the specially-sourced outdoor steel chairs and loungers of the terrace are colored in the monumental inky shade of blue, so characteristic for blauwe theehuis, combined with a small, white brouwerij ‘t ij logo of an ostrich, forming a new identity reminiscent of parisian parks.


‘all aspects of this enormous space have been designed to foster playfulness, with various seating arrangements creating a versatile environment which can be used throughout all seasons,’ the amsterdam-based studio explains. ‘custom-made windscreens and striped parasols in various shades of blue keep customers protected from the elements, while petanque courts allow them to spend endless hours playing with friends. for those who prefer to be closer to nature, there are custom seats wrapped around trees, as well as high tables placed underneath low tree branches – both with spherical luminaires fixed above using bespoke steel structures.’

studio modijefsky converts historic tearoom in amsterdam's vondelpark into modernist taproom

studio modijefsky converts historic tearoom in amsterdam's vondelpark into modernist taproom



project info:



name: blauwe theehuis

architect: studio modijefsky

location: amsterdam, the netherlands

program: taproom & restaurant

assignment: interior design

size: ground floor: 64,5 m2 + terrace: 1265 m2 first floor: 59,5 m2 + upper terrace: 250,5 m2

client: brouwerij ‘t ij, drie wijzen uit oost

design: esther stam, moene van werven, agnese pellino, natalia nikolopoulou, zahra rajaei

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