Our client’s brief suggested a new place which is sensitive to the different needs of the city. A space which appeals to different cliental throughout the day as well as to those of the hotel guests which have their breakfast there. A multi-social program from breakfast to late bar scene.
Although our client has envisioned a unified hotel program where MOMO would be inclined towards the hotel cliental and the city serves only as an extra potential, we encouraged him to consider an alternative approach where the city comes first while the hotel guests- a group of captive audience- would follow regardless of any scheme we choose. We argued that MOMO should be conceived as a city restaurant and as such it should behave as one. Its values and identity should be developed in relation to the life style of the city dwellers. Once that level of communication is achieved, the added value for the hotel, economically and in terms of public relation and exposure would be priceless.
MOMO revitalizes a century old dormant relationship of this corner building with its immediate surroundings on Stadhouderskade and Hobbemastraat facing the entrance of the Vondelpark just west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein, in the heart of Amsterdam cultural center.
The black brick facing and generous openings of the monument so beautifully sketched in the “Café Restaurant Parkzicht” postcard from 1903 seem to have sunk in the collective memory of Amsterdam. The only gesture that was needed was to create a coherent background space in contrasting light tones which would revive their presence and contours as well as the social engagements behind them.
The city is further intensified within through a series of stainless steel panels in mirror finish which reflect the street scene into the interior to the point where the city has become an integral an active part of the identity of the place.
A corner vault which had been exposed during demolition became the regulating mechanism for the whole plan, hence, commemorating inside the presence of the city corner.
Each street façade was echoed by a different seating within, enhancing the richness of social gatherings to the street. Reciprocally, dynamic street scenes are enjoyed by different gatherings. To each seating its own stories and memories.
MOMO has grown beyond its role as a restaurant, its essence has evolved into a small city square.