Design Solutions

For implementing greenhouse dining in the restaurant

For the use of the Serres in the restaurant we are constantly making adjustments. Not only to the greenhouses themselves, but also to the way we carry out our service. What problems do we encounter? And how can we solve them in a creative manner


Mediamatic ETEN and Serre Séparée - Safer water side dining in Amsterdam Soon, we'll offer really nice plant-based dinner in our greenhouses on the Amsterdam water side of the Oosterdok. We are testing the setup now whilst waiting for permission to re-open our restaurant and art space. Of course, these chambres séparées are recommended only for people that are already living together. Photo was taken at Mediamatic ETEN in Biotoop Dijkspark during our testing on April 28, 2020. Reproduction permitted with credit: Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam. #corona… Willem Velthoven

With: Nehis Osagie

Serving planks

To ensure that our guests and staff can keep their distance easily, we have developed special long serving planks on which food for two people can be placed. The servers only have to slide the plank into the cabin and don't have to enter the space.

The planks also minimise the walking the staff have to do to serve the greenhouses. They are placed quite far from each other, especially compared to a normal restaurant setting. Because the planks can carry the dinner for two people at once, it saves a lot of walking back and forth.


Serving at Mediamatic ETEN Serres Séparées - Safer water side dining in Amsterdam during a pandemic We were testing the setup and the ways of serving whilst waiting for permission to re-open our restaurant and art space. After these tests during lock-down, we went viral with the concept. So as soon as permitted, we started to offer really nice plant-based dinner in our greenhouses on the Amsterdam water side of the Oosterdok. We had a great run from june 1st on t ill the second wave stopped even our super safe restaurant again in October 2020.   Of course, these chambres séparées are… Willem Velthoven

Later we also further adjusted the planks so they can carry the drinks as well. This way our service is even more efficient and safe, because the glasses don't have to be touched more than needed.


Still from video Serres Séparées by Mariano Galán - Serving with dinner planks that carry both food and drinks.


Serving from a distance - Anisa Xhomaqi

The weather

In addition, we have to account for the weather when serving the food. The staff need to walk 20 to 30 meters outside to serve some of the greenhouses. If it rains, the food gets wet, and if it storms it could blow away. That is why we now use square shaped cloches to protect the food. Cloches didn't exist in this shape, so we created some ourselves using a rectangular planter and a door handle.

To protect our employees during bad weather, we have rain ponchos by the sustainable clothing brand ByBrown.


Cloche -

Lights, ventilation and heating

First, electricity outlets were placed so lights, speakers, fans or heaters could be powered in the greenhouses (it gets hot or cold quickly in the greenhouses). For lighting, we installed dimmable lamps. With a small heater, it gets comfortable quite quickly in the greenhouses, but for extra warmth, we also put blankets in each greenhouse.

Plants don't have hands


Plants don't have hands, but humans do and presumably, humans will want to leave the greenhouse eventually, so they need to open the doors. This is why we placed handles on the inside of the sliding doors. We did this by glueing them to the glass (you need a big surface on the handle to place the glue, or the handles will fall off), but you could also place it with screws on the aluminium of the doorframe. Enough extra material also needs to be available for the doors, because the sliding system will wear out more quickly due to the doors opening and closing a lot more than with normal use.


Handvat van de schuifdeur van de Serres -

Adjustments to the weather

With very sunny weather, it might be a good idea to place some sun-protecting cloth over the greenhouses, or perhaps hang it inside, For colder weather, it is important that there isn't a draft, especially via the bottom, where there can be some space between the aluminium and the actual ground. Thick see-through plastic or some other fitting material can be used to better isolate the space.


Rain in the Serres -


Summer in the Serres Séparées - Photo by Abbie Moran for Mediamatic. Taken on 24.06.2020.  Abbie Moran