Cineac

Location

Amsterdam

Client

Planet Hollywood

Year

1996

Status

Completed

Program

Restaurant

Cineac

Back in 1989, Dam & Partners Architecten did the drawings for a restaurant in the derelict Cineac cinema in the Reguliersbreestraat in Amsterdam for the then owners, Cannon. They were again asked to make a design for the Cineac complex in 1994, this time on behalf of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.

The Cineac cinema, designed by Jan Duiker (1890 – 1935), opened in 1934. It is regarded as a prime example of the new functionalism, and was put on the list of protected monuments in 1993. Right from the start, Dam & Partners Architecten took the attitude that as many features of Duiker’s original plan as possible should be retained.

The exterior has been practically entirely restored to its original condition, with the exception of the entrance. Instead of two entrances on each side of a curved steel outer wall, there is now a single entrance in a curved glass wall. The windows are as narrow as they were in the original building, the facade cladding consists of grey steel plates as used by Duiker (some are in fact the refurbished originals), and the big neon sign has been restored to its original condition – though it now says Planet Hollywood instead of Cineac.

Many changes have been made in the interior, however. The sloping floor – an essential part of the cinema design – has been replaced by a level one and the spartan interior decoration is completely hidden by the video screens and other decor elements characteristic of Planet Hollywood. Care has been taken, however, to ensure that all these changes are reversible – i.e., the room could be returned to its original condition if desired. Elements of the original design that could be preserved have been; for example, the characteristic ovoid ceiling is still there, as is the spiral staircase in its original glass housing. Special attention has been paid to maintaining the original movement pattern, so that the basis concept of the interior is preserved.

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