Wyers Restaurant and Miss LouisaAlissa Ponchione • Photography by Maarten Willemstein • January 2, 2018
Located inside the Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam, the brand’s first European property, is Wyers Bar & Restaurant and coffee takeaway spot Miss Louisa, both of which offer a distinct Dutch flavor thanks to a thoughtful design conceived by local firm Studio Modijefsky.
The 274-room hotel designed by the London office of Michaelis Boyd is convivial and alive with distinct elements that reflect Amsterdam’s effortlessly cool style. The F&B continues that thread, weaving together a neighborhood feel with an “ambiance that nods to the history of Amsterdam: classic, a bit rustic, warm, and authentic with an informed mixture of materials and textures,” says firm founder Esther Stam. Whereas the hotel is light and airy, Wyers offers a darker contrast with rich colors of olive green, elephant gray, and dark brown accompanied by warm ochre hues, light marble, and pastel blue handmade tiles.
In fact, Wyers is located in former fabric shop Firma Wyers (also the namesake of the restaurant), which served as inspiration for the design, says Stam. The bar’s design, for instance, was informed by a weaving machine, evidence by “a metal tube coming up from the back of the bar, forming a construction to display the liquor, and continuing over the bar, bending down above the its top to form a light element in the shape of a fabric roll,” she explains. More metal tubes representing an abstract tread from the weaving machine appears throughout, including in several light fixtures above custom banquettes equipped with backrests modeled after stacked fabric rolls in another nod to the restaurant’s past life. In addition, single threads descend from the ceiling above the show kitchen to suggest a bobbin of spun yarn, while the herringbone-patterned wooden floor “is a wink to a woven fabric, as well,” Stam adds.
Although corner coffee bar Miss Louisa (named after Firma Wyers founder J.P. Wyers’ youngest daughter) “has its own style,” it also pays homage to its history as the home to several newspaper offices. Here, black and white tiles and a lightbox made out of a steel frame grid with playfully placed light cubes and shapes that reference letterpresses and printing machines, harken to its newspaper heyday. “It’s a straightforward design that is a nice counterbalance to the soft and curvy interior of Wyers,” Stam notes.
Indeed, both spaces embrace their location on a bustling city street while honoring Amsterdam, “a city with a lot of history and yet a modern vibe,” says Stam. For one, “Wyers is a wink to the city’s past and yet complements the young energy of the modern traveler and its own inhabitants.”