Restaurant Blue Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Restaurant Blue is situated in a tower in the heart of Amsterdam, offering stunning views over the rooftops of the Dutch capital. When designer Sander Vredeveld was asked to re-design the interior, the location inspired the concept of an urban treehouse.
The world at your feet
“The views from the restaurant make you feel like you’re on top of the world”, says Vredeveld. “It made me feel like a little kid in my treehouse again. That inspired the design concept of an urban treehouse. Hence the earthy color palette and the generous use of wood. There are subtler hints as well: I used tiles with a cloud pattern on the bar for example. People don’t consciously register all these things, but it’s what makes a design click.”
I designed the entire restaurant with an urban treehouse in mind. The central lift shaft represents the trunk of the tree; the floor and ceiling its branches.
Vredeveld was aware of the fact that the views are a major attraction, and the design shouldn’t distract from them. “There’s a central lift shaft, but apart from that it’s a large open space. I used high tables and chairs close to the shaft, and lower ones towards the windows, creating a gallery effect. That means guests at every table can enjoy the views. At night the interior is reflected in the large windows. The lighting and the wood on the ceiling, floor and walls ensure that the reflection even enhances the warm and intimate atmosphere.”
The thing I like best about the Hakwood flooring is the wonderful flame in the wood.
Vredeveld wanted the oak flooring to be laid in a radial pattern, perpendicular to the outside walls, to reinforce the treehouse effect. “I needed a quality product for that, and installers who were up to the job. The people who installed the Hakwood flooring were true craftsmen. I love working with people who take a design and then make it even better. That’s definitely true for the carpenters, joiners and installers working on this project – the owners were thrilled with the result.”