Regular price $35.00
I. Elisa Van Joolen - Metz & Co

Metz & Co was a department store in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, founded in 1740 which closed in 2013. The store was founded by Mozes Samuels in the Jodenbreestraat, he sold his company to his three sons in 1794. Metz & Co. had the right to display the Dutch royal coat of arms with the legend 'By Royal Warrant Purveyor to the Royal Household' since 1815.

To celebrate its 150th anniversary in 1890 the store moved to a new location on the Leidsestraat. After which it was located from 1908 to 2012 on Keizersgracht 455 corner with the Leidsestraat.

The company grew quickly in the 19th century, becoming an international trader in fabrics and consumer goods. In the 20th century, Metz became renowned for its designs by Gerrit Rietveld whose furniture collections can be seen today in museums all over the world, objects designed by Bart van der Leck, Sonia Delauny and Alvar Aalto. After the WWII, a British company Liberty of London took over the Metz & Co store. It became an influential design shop, until the 80-ties of the 20th century.

The distinctive cupola on the store's roof was built in the 1930s and designed by Dutch artist Gerrit T. Rietveld. 

Rietveld, who was originally a furniture maker, was not just a furniture designer. He was also a graphic designer and architect. He was asked to design the lettering for the firm’s name that was to be placed on the roof of the department store. During this design process, in 1933, it was decided to extend the steel support structure for the lettering into a glazed space that was to function as a furniture showroom. This resulted in what came to be known as ‘De Koepel’ (the cupola).

With its continuous glazed wall set in a light steel frame, this structure gave expression to the creed of ‘light, air and space’ of the Nieuwe Bouwen (Dutch modernist) movement, of which Rietveld was an advocate.

In 1933 the exhibition ‘Op het dak’ (on the roof) was organized to mark the store’s expansion. The exhibition comprised a sleeping, eating and sitting area with Rietveld’s most recent furniture designs. The following is taken from Metz & Co’s autumn catalogue: ‘In order to display the steel furniture in an open and suitable setting, Rietveld has used the available area on the roof to create an imposing space, built to his design and under his direction, above Amsterdam.’

This space still exists but was radically renovated in 1986 by the architect Cees Dam. It now forms part of the café-restaurant on the floor below. We don’t know whether Rietveld’s cupola is still as imposing as it was on completion because it is closed to the public. However, there is still an imposing view of Amsterdam from the café-restaurant.

In 1938, around the corner at number 449 Keizersgracht, the furniture department was extended. Rietveld designed the new shop and the lettering ‘Metz & Co’. The café-restaurant Walem is currently housed in this building. 


II. SSHH - El Internacional

El Internacional Tapas bar & restaurant was conceived as an artistic project and social experiment, carried out between 1984 and 1986 by artist Antoni Miralda and chef Montse Guillén in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was an initiative merging the cultural contexts of contemporary art and cuisine. The restaurant's popularity and renown would become a daring exploration of cross-cultural, trans-disciplinary esthetics and somehow an iconic symbol of the New York scene of the 80s.
The project engaged food, sensorial experiences and installation art as vehicles and rituals for transmitting and subverting traditions and blending social practices of the time.

El Internacional was a team project and a collective work of art. The space framed the experience and interactions around food as clients ended up being participants in a multi-layered experience few had imagined. The visit led to unexpected situations and stimulating relationships between art, design, architecture and the mass media.

At El Internacional events were a hybrid of celebration, food and performance such as Face to Face in which 70 pairs of twins on Valentine’s Day would sit in front of identical dishes with different tastes, or the Crowning Ceremony during which the roof of the building was fitted with a life size replica of the crown of the statue of liberty. Others included the Porrón Olympics, the Miami Vice Shooting, The Original Rapper by Lou Reed and the Saturday Night Live Show.

El Internacional Newspaper was given to clients as they entered, as part of the menu. Four issues were published, each one printed in a different color, with texts about the environment and the food.

The international, multilingual staff of the restaurant was integrated into all aspects of the operation and even the customers were influenced by the aesthetics of the place and ended up wearing black and white like the façade.


III. BBB - Café Bizarre

Café Bizarre, located at 106 West 3rd St. New York, NY, was one of the early folk clubs in the Village, opened by Rick Allmen in 1957. It was one of the most conspicuous and sensational clubs to capitalize on the beatnik phenomenon, and the venue for many counterculture poets and musicians of the period. Over time it morphed from hosting top jazz acts and Beat poetry readings (Kerouac, Ginsberg and everyone else in their circle had readings there at one point or another) to rock and roll.

It was here in 1965 that Andy Warhol first saw the house band, the Velvet Underground when filmmaker Barbara Rubin brought Warhol, Paul Morrissey, Gerard Malanga and Nico to the Café Bizarre. Warhol loved the band’s confrontational edge — audiences left performances “dazed and damaged.” After their performance, Warhol immediately declared that he was their manager, and off they went to make history.

Black short sleeve t-shirt