the ‘grandcafe sijthoff’ is an organic café located in the building of a former publishing house in leiden, the netherlands. to go with the general feel of the restaurant, designers at AftU (agent for the underused) were requested to build custom furnishings. they needed to be flexible to changing everyday needs, and in the world of hip coffee spots — reclaimed wood and flea market finds were the obvious choices.
AftU started by sourcing various agricultural items (esp. vegetable crates) that were beyond restoration to farmers. once adapted to serve new purposes, the local flea markets were skimmed for needed parts. tables, made of said boxes, stand on the legs of curated second hand tables and similar items. the surfaces’ rigidity serves as a playful comparison with the often intricate bases, and gives each one a unique character.
like the table tops, the bar and long bench/couch were created with
repurposed boxes. they follow the basic principles of palette
construction, in which the material acts as cladding and structure
simultaneously. AftU’s use of countryside-sourced elements
reflects the ambience of ‘grandcafe sijthoff’ well, and was conducted in
a way cohesive to the purity of the all-organic menu.