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Bar Botanique by Studio Modijefsky

Maarten Willemstein

A tropical addition to the restaurant scene in Amsterdam, Bar Botanique, designed by local firm Studio Modijefsky, brings a fresh and green interior to a former Dutch café. Located adjacent to the multicultural Javastraat, Bar Botanique Café Tropique is the place to be from early mornings to late in the evening.

Double high large windows cover the entire façade of the corner building and spill in plenty of daylight, creating a direct link between the interior and its surroundings. The windows are a focal point in the design and concept of the interior, mirrors hang from the ceiling reflecting light and the scenery. A train, running by opposite the café, creates a flickering reflection which is captured in the bar back wall with the diverse use of colour, fabric and mirror strokes.


The space has been divided and defined using railings in a playful way. Inspired by the old railings in the café, the new railings reach up to the high ceiling and create a clear path between the bar and lounge area. Warm oak plinths cover the floor while a bright green concrete floor naturally connects the different areas of the interior.


Located on the entresol and souterrain the dining area is separated from the rest of the interior. Warm pink walls, a flower press menu-board and green velvet bench rolls give the souterrain a special character of its own. Custom light fixtures which are made using simple glass plates with engraved circles on them create pleasant circular shadows along the wall up to the ceiling.

A glossy ceiling creates reflections and connects the soutterain and entresol. A green tiled menu with papyrus plants stretches along the wall in the entresol. Furnished with pink marble tables, the souterrain has a spectacular view looking into the space.


Historically a gym and later a local café, the new interior takes a great part of its identity from its past. New elements in the interior are introduced such as surprising hanging elements, geometric rings holdings plants from the ceiling, bold geometric shapes, organic motifs, custom glass racks with light tubes and furniture details, which pay respect to the past.


The botanical sensation of the space is visible in the colour scheme and the organic shapes which form the bar front, bar back wall, the hanging mobiles and lights. A rich colour pallet inspired by nature is used for the furniture and compliments the interior. Colorful marble table tops in green and pink stand by velvet banquets which reflect the identity of the former café in their details. A stroke of bright blue, the lounge chairs, appear in the interior in front of the bar with the brown marble top, giving it yet another colour boost.

The bar front, tiled in a tropical pattern with a marble counter top is complimented by a completely custom made back bar. It consists of a composition of rounded shapes, metal mesh and light boxes, with a centre piece showcasing the bottles. A bright yellow coffeemachine shines in the custom made copper coffee corner, adding another touch of colour to the space.


Plants have a strong presence in the interior. Palm trees, philodendron, ferns and monsteras create an ever changing interior.  Highlighted with lamps, the plants create dramatic effects on the ceiling and walls, as the sun goes down the shadows become more present and the bar life begins.


Logo design and identity has also been completed by Studio Modijefsky. A custom font has been designed for the logo to reflect the playful nature of the concept, it appears in the interior on custom signage. The logo wraps around the building on the facade, each letter on a window forming Bar Botanique all the way around the corner. The house number, 581, can be seen on the main entrance glass door while the number 8 forms unique and custom made door handles.

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all images © Maarten Willemstein