Chassis, Aline, Ceno: architects Wessel de Jonge have fitted out the Van Nelle Factory’s redesigned lunch restaurant in Rotterdam with Wilkhahn furniture. The ensemble of buildings has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014. Wilkhahn’s Dutch branch has been based there following conversion to a hub for the creative industry. The aim of the canteen’s redesign was to reflect more clearly what the space used to look like in the past. Which is why the restaurant’s layout is geared to the original position of the machinery.
At the same time it was the ideal opportunity to provide for totally different seating arrangements and communication spaces. The communication and eating options now range from room-in-room systems to informal groups of seating and podiums to gather and chat on, or long communal tables for big parties to savour a meal at. At the heart of the new lunch restaurant lies a table group in the centre with pale grey Chassis seating positioned at long Aline tables. Munich-based designer Stefan Diez used a deep-drawing procedure (customary in automotive manufacturing) to develop Chassis. The origins of its design already place it in the industrial context of modernism. Therefore it’s a perfect match for the Van Nelle Factory. A presentation space adjacent to the restaurant features Wilkhahn’s cushioned all-rounder Ceno (design: Läufer & Keichel, Berlin), an elegant chair for auditoria and their exceptional demands when it comes to comfort.
Project: Lunch restaurant at the Van Nelle Factory, Rotterdam
Architects: Brinkman & van der Vlugt (1925-31)
Head of redevelopment: Wessel de Jonge Architecten (1999-2004)
Interior design: Wessel de Jonge Architecten (2016)
Wilkhahn ranges: Chassis multipurpose chair, Ceno multipurpose chair, Aline table range
Photography: Stijn Poelstra for Wilkhahn