The Kitchen (Bijenkorf Eindhoven)

Concrete designed the new restaurant for the Bijenkorf Eindhoven department store, the second Kitchen for the Bijenkorf chain in concrete’s portfolio. The department store’s iconic building by Italian architect Gio Ponti and its relationship to the Bijenkorf Kitchen Amsterdam inspired the interior.

Analysing the Gio Ponti building resulted in a unique design recipe for the restaurant: starting with a transparent base (showcasing the function inside) counterbalanced by a heavy top (emphasised with expressive colours, materials and iconic windows) to create an optical game of gravity.

The restaurant, called The Kitchen, starts with three ‘floating’ kitchen islands to draw people in from the department store’s main route. The kitchen islands consist of a transparent open kitchen as a base, displaying and offering dishes from all over the world. A heavy hood floats above the kitchen, highlighted by copper tiles and product niches to identify the type of cuisine. The fourth island is positioned closer to the restaurant, and accommodates the bar and cash registers. The heavy top here is built out of wine bottles and lights, in which the green colour is a tribute to the façade of the building, while the bottles identify the function of the island. The brasserie islands, located adjacent to the bar island in the restaurant area, feature a ‘light’ twist on the recipe: the heavy top is translated into a cloud of light globes as a homage to ’Eindhoven as the city of light’. The dynamic field of lights (every globe is independently dimmable) floats above solid concrete brasserie benches, which are comfortably upholstered with green leather cushions.

 

The islands are positioned in such a way that guests coming from the retail floors of the department store are automatically drawn into the kitchen area, and flow naturally through the kitchens towards the bar & cash register, where they can choose to go left or right into the different seating areas of the restaurant.

The different seating formations cater to the guests’ state of mind: active high seats & tables closer to the bar, lower ‘library tables’ to work or read, with signature custom made library armatures by Piet Hein Eek, a living room set-up to relax, and finally a show kitchen in the back. The signature stainless steel Bijenkorf cabinet separates the show kitchen from the restaurant, featuring a classic kitchen environment, with possibilities for demonstrations or renting out the space privately for events.

 

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