Renilde Restaurant, Rotterdam
Renilde Restaurant, Rotterdam

A restaurant, an auditorium, a café, an exhibition spaces. The Renilde restaurant in Rotterdam can be all of these things. The creative flair of the Concrete group makes this possible by means of a versatile, revolutionary concept that seems more like a game than a mere public space. Located on the 6th and upper level of Depot Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, the world’s first art storage facility open to the public, the space is a glass pavilion shaped as a cross in the ‘green forest’ of a roof garden.

Inside, to provide the required flexibility, instead of a series of individual tables the studio has design a connection system. Each wooden wall at the ends of the space, pivoting on the floor, can be lowered to give rise to ten long communal tables that encourage guests to meet and socialize.

The bar and open kitchen reflect the principles of yin and yang, mutually fulfilling opposites that attract. They face each other with wooden volumes, both conveying the graphic identity of the museum with walls featuring black and white stripes.

The bar is in black terrazzo, while the kitchen is in the same marble cement, but in white, with the word Renilde in pink neon just above. The restaurant is special due to the efforts of the chef Jim de Jong, twice a winner of the Gouden Pollepel and named as Young Chef of the Year in the Netherlands by the Gault&Millau guide.

When necessary, the functional role of the restaurant can be modified, working perfectly with the multifunction character of the Coert events space, which Concrete has inserted in front of it. With large pivoting doors that act as wings, with a volume in stainless steel that functions as a bar, pantry and wardrobe during events, Coert can welcome up to 170 guests. The project has been an exciting challenge for Concrete, leading to solutions that adapt well to the progressive character of the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum. 

The advantage of having a museum as a client – say Rob Wagemans and Bart de Beer of the studio – is openness to original ideas. We would never have been able to build this restaurant for a traditional client. The Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen always left us plenty of room to achieve maximum quality of visitor experience and functional excellence. We are proud of the final result and of the contribution we have been able to make to the iconic world of museums here in Rotterdam.”

Photo © Wouter van der Sar, Studio Unfolded, courtesy v2com