An Amsterdam Bar’s Shift from Day to Night

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DDOCK‘s interior for Weekend uses dramatic lighting to transition from coffee bar to cocktail lounge.

The owners of Weekend initially planned to open a simple espresso bar – a “little sister” to their popular Restaurant Vandaag next door. But they changed their minds after considering their neighbourhood’s diversity. The location lies between a dense and gentrified South Amsterdam area – home to young families and professionals in their 30s – and the sprawling RAI exhibition and conference centre, one of the city’s largest business complexes.

So the owners opted for a two-pronged approach: an espresso bar that transitions into a cocktail lounge. However, they wanted the switch to be a striking and effortless one, to avoid disruption during operating hours.

The key to Weekend’s daily metamorphosis lies within its walls. CNC-perforated with a 50’s-inspired diamond pattern based on the shape of coffee beans, the ceiling-height MDF panels are placed overtop translucent screens concealing colour-shifting LEDs. When the restaurant is in cafe mode, the walls glow a light blue-green, further enhanced by the sunlight streaming in through the front windows. Come nightfall, the light morphs to deep orange-red, matching the glow from the fireplace, and complementing the three rows of Tom Dixon’s Void pendant lights in warm brass.

The bar’s open-concept plan is key to this transformation. DDOCK generously outfitted the space with small clusters of tables and chairs that can be re-configured quickly and easily for impromptu meetings and intimate conversations. A 12-metre bar topped in composite stone runs the length of the space, establishing the interior’s directionality.

Furnishings with sleek upholstered lines and neutral palettes co-ordinate with both the fresh, well-lit daytime mode and the warmer, more dramatic evening mode. The open concept and furniture allow the interior much flexibility – the transition from day to night service is as simple as flicking a switch.

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