News — 31 Aug 2008

The Stedelijk Museum has announced that Gilian Schrofer (b. Amsterdam, 1966) is to design the interiors of the four refreshment areas at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which is due to re-open in December 2009. The areas concerned are the large ground-floor café-restaurant, the first-floor coffee corner, the lounge for founders and sponsors, and the staff canteen on the top floor. Schrofer’s initial designs will be on show this summer at the Stedelijk Museum CS, alongside a range of other designs by his Concern design bureau. 

Schrofer’s forthcoming exhibition in the Sandberg Room at the Stedelijk Museum CS (the Stedelijk’s temporary home until next October) will feature a selection of around fifty maquettes of projects undertaken in recent years. There will also be a glimpse of current design projects. The maquette of the new Stedelijk Museum, including Concern’s designs for the refreshment areas, will be on show for the very first time. At this stage, his designs are little more than concepts – a proportion of the furniture is to be produced specially for this project in collaboration with third parties. In the case of the café-restaurant, Schrofer has come up with a theatrical concept: the height of the chairs and tables will increase the further you advance into the building. The maquette also shows the proposals for the interiors of the entry hall, the shop and the Knowledge Centre, designed by the architects of the new building, Benthem Crouwel.

Gilian Schrofer has a background in the catering industry. He once owned his own patisserie and he used to do the catering for the Beurs van Berlage. His design career goes back over a decade. At that time he was behind Concrete, the design bureau that caused a furore with its interior designs for places like the De Lairesse pharmacy (Amsterdam), Laundry Industry Fashion (Amsterdam, London and Berlin), Supperclub (Amsterdam and Rome) and the Australian Homemade shops. 

In 2004 Schrofer set up on his own in order to concentrate on commissions from the arts world. With his new bureau, Concern (founded in 2005), he has worked for clients like Hotel de l’Europe, Lost Boys, the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund (STIVO), the Must See cinema chain and Amsterdam University College.

Since 2004, the Stedelijk has had a special relationship with the designer: Schrofer has designed exhibitions like Nest. Design for the interior (2005), Rineke Dijkstra / Portraits (2005/6), Spotting (2006) and Mapping the Studio (2006), all in the Post CS Building.

During the opening of the forthcoming exhibition, Gilian Schrofer and Concern will present Models of Concern: a book about maquettes, with photographs by Peter Gerhards and text contributions by Christoph Grafe, Ingeborg de Roode and Gilian Schrofer. The book is designed by Gesina Roters (DAY). It will be on sale at the museum shop and other good bookshops from July 2008.