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Concrete designs new Happyhappyjoyjoy Restaurant in East Amsterdam

Wouter van der Sar

Happyhappyjoyjoy opened a second restaurant in Amsterdam at the Oostelijke Handelskade in the Amsterdam East neighbourhood. The impressive building with high ceilings and entresol is perfect for the vibrant atmosphere of the restaurant. Randomly placed light boxes, colourful posters and red umbrellas create the characteristic chaotic nightlife ambiance of happyhappyjoyjoy. The diversity in the interior is extended to the sun-drenched terrace, where red Chinese lanterns build an Asian vibe, and colour warm summer nights red.

Designed by local studio concrete, happyhappyjoyjoy is a restaurant inspired by the hectic streets of Asia, serving small dishes influenced by the streets and markets of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and South Korea.


concrete designed the concept, name, interior design and total graphic identity of happyhappyjoyjoy; a restaurant which represents an eclectic mix and conglomeration of different streets and alleys. Packed with rich colours, textures, prints, light and different seating areas with smoking woks and steamers in the background, concrete’s ambition for the happyhappyjoyjoy chain is to create a new generation of restaurants and interior design, and break with current trends.


The exterior of the impressive building reflects the industrial heritage of the city of Amsterdam. The restaurant is entered through the garden. Once inside, visitors are welcomed by an abundance of colours, prints and light boxes. The walls are plastered with randomly placed colourful artworks, featuring a collection of posters and pamphlets from or inspired by Asia. The classical ornaments of the old building are painted red, emphasising the colourful walls, while the ceilings have been left untouched. Throughout the entire restaurant area, 34 randomly placed light boxes, varying in dimensions and artwork, create the atmosphere of the famous Asian market streets.


Statement elements within the interior design of happyhappyjoyjoy are two large stalls. The freestanding stall, positioned on the street side of the building, functions as the bar. It is crowned by a bottle rack framed in metal mesh, filled on one side with Asian beers, wines, sakes, spirits. The other side of the bar is devoted to tea, with large tea tins filled with careful selected tea varieties. The red coloured backlit paper umbrella ceiling within the frame strengthens the warm Asian ambiance, and makes the bar a welcoming element. Two iconic red happyhappyjoyjoy neon signs mounted on a frame provide the area with warm light and lure passers-by into the restaurant.

The long wall opposite the entrance has three open cabinets placed under black painted arched passages. Six refrigerators contain Asian beers, sodas and fresh coconuts, while the cabinets are stocked with Asian products used in the kitchen and the bar – bottles with chilli sauce, beers in crates, rice and much more besides – enhancing the market feel and a sense of organised chaos.


The restaurant area is divided by a big, park bench inspired seating element connected to a big planter in the middle, featuring bamboo plants. The seating element is easily detached and rolled away whenever there is a big event, giving the restaurant area a flexible setup.

The second stall, adjoining the kitchen, forms an entresol. The roof of the second market stall is also wrapped in a metal mesh and decorated with the iconic red happyhappyjoyjoy neon. A more intimate seating area is created underneath the entresol, where a jade green ceiling and mirror lights create a warm vibe. Guests can sit at the hawker stalls, where they become part of the activity of the kitchen, in which woks, steamers and gas burners bring the restaurant to Asian temperatures.


Three large, round Lazy Susan tables invite families or groups to dine together for the ultimate Asian (Chinese) experience in which sharing food is an important cultural aspect. A grid of 20 red Chinese lanterns above the entresol enhances the intimacy and colours the seating area red.

Inside and outside melt together when the 3.5 metre high doors on the west facade of the building open up. Unique for this second happyhappyjoyjoy venue is the big sun-drenched terrace of 230 square metres, allowing visitors to enjoy Asian beers in the summer sun, while red Chinese lanterns colour the terrace red when the evening falls.

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all images courtesy of concrete photograph by Wouter van der Sar