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Anne Frank House Museum Cafe

Rush and reflection are the two contradictory vital elements on which we have based the entire design of the museum cafe in the Anne Frank House. We were inspired by the place’s history, and in particular the post-war period in which the desire for rapid improvement was in contrast to the pure fellowship. This paradox has not only functioned as our core design concept, but also in facilitating the visitors of the Anne Frank House.

location
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
client
Anne Frank Stichting
year
2016-2018
status
completed
type
interior
program
restaurant / bar, culture
size
250 sqm
partners
Jackaroo
BiermanHenket
publications
ArchDaily
designboom
Architectenweb
De Architect
Archello
Home World Design
photography
Maarten Willemstein

Different types of fabrics, with a warm and domestic feel, are used in a variety of ways.

Our research showed that visitors of the Anne Frank House experience a sudden transition from history to the present on one hand, while on the other, they feel the need to reflect on the impact of ‘the secret annexe’. The large bar is a multifunctional object in the middle of the cafe. In front of the bar, the atmosphere is dynamic – 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 alternate with dining tables and wall benches to accommodate all visitors.

Floorplan

The subdued design fits in the story of the Anne Frank House. However, that does not mean that the design can't be something special.
Carefully assembled grey and green terrazzo connects the different elements and creates a coherent whole.
A collage of materials, textures and refined, modern details makes an inviting atmosphere. 
The design includes integrations of Jabo carpet castings and warm oak.
The display bar, with a 9-meter stone front, features a unique casting of dark green terrazzo.

“It was a movingly thought-provoking hour and a half well spent, and there is an excellent on-site cafe available to revive oneself afterwards.”

Review on Tripadvisor (2020)

We used the photos from the series ‘Jews of Amsterdam’ by the American photographer Leonard Freed in our research into the post-war period of the Jewish history of Amsterdam. His photos yielded an enormous amount of documentation and a wealth of stories, which have given the project a broad historical context and deeper meaning. As a result, we realized that the image of the future-looking community, that Freed’s photos evoke, contained yet another reality that did not show itself to the outside world and not to the camera lens: that of the invisible emotional world of still-worn sorrow and the suppressed memories of war, which would not be discussed until many years later.

Recover All Files, a short film