Rush and reflection are the two key elements on which the entire design of the museum cafe in the Anne Frank House is based. Of course, we were inspired by the history of the place, a period in which desire for rapid improvement was in contrast to the simple fellowship. This contradiction has not only been taken as a core for the concept, but also for facilitating visitors to the Anne Frank House: on the one hand in the sudden transition from history to the present and on the other hand to reflect on the impact of ‘the secret annexe’.
The bar is a multifunctional object in the middle of the cafe. In front of the bar the atmosphere is energetic – here rushed visitors have the opportunity to buy some to-go products before they get back into the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam. The backside of the bar is much quieter – visitors can enjoy the view, relax and take a seat on various types of furniture. Lounge seats are alternated with dining tables and wall benches to accommodate all types of visitors.
The main concept is also reflected in color and material usage. A subdued design, fitting in the story of the Anne Frank House, is paramount. That does not mean that the design must be commonplace. A collage of materials, textures and refined and modern details provides a warm and inviting atmosphere. Different types of fabrics, with a warm and domestic feel, were used in a variety of ways to make the design anything but distant. The display bar, with a 9 meter concrete front, features 5 special handmade castings of fabrics and carpets which were developed in the early years after the Second World War.
More literally, Jabo carpet and warm oak are used in the furniture – materials that are really durable and undoubtedly fit into the design and vision. A carefully assembled terrazzo flooring connects the different (natural) colors and creates a coherent whole.