studio modijefsky combines material + color landscapes into 'karavaan' in amsterdam west

studio modijefsky combines material + color landscapes into 'karavaan' in amsterdam west

studio modijefsky has translated the journey of a caravan into a bar and restaurant concept in kwakersplein, a square in amsterdam west, creating an all-day hangout characterized by different color and material landscapes. titled karavaan (dutch for caravan), the venue is subtly divided into a series of zones: meadow, swamp, forest, mountain and desert; with each area characterized by its own color scheme, materials and design specifics, all unified by a trail that crosses the entire space.all images by maarten willemstein



‘kwakersplein – the square where the venue is located – has been transformed throughout history,’ explains studio modijefsky. ‘initially a polder area outside amsterdam’s old city limits, it became a part of the bellamy neighbourhood after being dammed in the 19th century. ever since, people have been migrating towards this spot, just like a caravan, but this time to settle for good.’ for karavaan, the dutch studio has drawn from the landscapes one might encounter during such a journey, including a meadow, swamp, forest, mountain and desert, subtly translating these into the different areas of the modijefsky combines material + color landscapes into 'karavaan' in amsterdam west



as one enters the main vestibule of the all-day bar & restaurant, they encounter a circular ceiling light that defines the lounge area underneath. from here the space unfolds into different directions indicated by changes in colors, interior finishes and light objects. looking to the right a small bar with a toned-down fresh pastel palette is connected to a second entrance, located at the corner of the building. walking across the herringbone wooden floor, towards the natural oak bar, the white ceramics, staggered yellow tiles and the light wool carpet ceiling, feels like being in the high grass of a meadow. this bar changes its function through the day, from a morning coffee spot to a window seat for an evening drink. this transition is suggested by a structure of mirrored light panels hanging above the bar, which can be flipped, changing from ‘karavaan caffeine’ to ‘cocktail karavaan’.studio modijefsky combines material + color landscapes into 'karavaan' in amsterdam west



past the meadow bar, one encounters the first of the dining areas, which features a more dramatic palette that coveys a mysterious atmosphere: the glossy ceiling, the deep blue column and stucco walls recall the reflections of the water and roughness of the deltas of a swamp. a similar vibe reappears on the opposite side of the venue, overlooking the square, where a dark purple ceiling and a tailor-made curved bench create a cozy corner with the adjacent column, separating the bar from the dining area. the central bar runs along the back of the space with lines of light, jute fabric and rough plaster intertwined as roots leading towards it. dark cork panels join the wooden slats; the reflective zinc top runs through the front bar invading the dense wood.



stepping down from the central bar, an area characterized by the lack of natural light and the use of dark colors and rigid lines makes one feel like they are in a dim forest. there, a high bench with a green cylindrical backrest, detailed with leather accents, overlooks the modijefsky has lit this space with beams of light, which come through the walls, resembling the rays of sun peeking through dense tree trunks. the feeling of the forest spreads towards the adjacent room and meets a desert, creating an eccentric mix of bright colors, brown wood veneer and green tiles. during the day this lounge space is easily accessible through the dining area at the entrance, while at night, folding doors allow the space to be used as a private area.




the lounge space incorporates beams of light on one side and an arc of lights on the other, which embrace a small wooden bar and playful high seating, creating an intimate corner. just a couple of steps from the small bar, warm colors and softer lines dominate the space: the tiled floor is covered by a soft rug, and the wooden slats of the wall are sweetened by a velvet golden-okra curtain, which makes this area a perfect spot for relaxing on the red velvet lounge chairs. throughout the entire interior, following the different heights, a dark horizontal line breaks the walls in half, visually connecting every zone. the columns that unfold in the space are always complimented with a light accent or a furniture element. sometimes a flipped light or a mark on the wall becomes a navigation tool to move through the different landscapes, just like in the old days, when stones were stacked, and rocks were marked to show the way. studio modijefsky combines material + color landscapes into 'karavaan' in amsterdam west studio modijefsky combines material + color landscapes into 'karavaan' in amsterdam west studio modijefsky combines material + color landscapes into 'karavaan' in amsterdam west studio modijefsky combines material + color landscapes into 'karavaan' in amsterdam west



project info:


name: karavaan

architect: studio modijefsky

team: esther stam, moene van werven, agnese pellino, nancy katri, natalia nikolopoulou, zahra rajaei, martyna nicolson, christel willers, maite margalho, francesca motta

program: coffee bar, café, restaurant

size: 357m2 interior / 250m2 terrace

client: daan bonsen, arne de wit, 3WO

location: kwakersplein, amsterdam, the netherlands

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