Planting the Seed

The history of greenhouses at Mediamatic

Now that the Serres Séparées have gone viral, the small houses and the food that we serve there gets attention from all over the world. But did you know that the greenhouses already played a role at Mediamatic before they became part of the restaurant? They have served as part of an exhibition space, as a decor of a fashion show, as a lab to research plants with viruses and much more.. 

Here you find a few highlights of the history of the greenhouses at Mediamatic and a selection of other projects, exhibitions and dinners in which we've planted the seed for the concept of the Serres Séparées. 



Visitors having a close look at the Morphology of Fish installation -

The first greenhouses at Mediamatic.

Mediamatic is a nomadic institute, meaning it is not attached to one place. From 2011 to 2014 we were located in an old warehouse: The Van Gendthallen. On this location, we placed our first two big greenhouses as part of the exhibition space.  


11-07-2014 The Aftermath Dislocation Principle - disaster tour - The Aftermath Dislocation Principle is a vast 1:87 scale model landscape, which is desolated, deserted, destroyed, burnt and devoid of life apart from 5000 or so model police that attend this apocalyptic aftermath. With this dark, humoristic and at the same time unnerving dystopian world, Cauty expresses his fascination with subversion, consumerism and entertainment. Irati

With: James Cauty

Pip & Pop Candylab - Willem Velthoven


Candy Lab - Sugar finissage - Disassembling II - Irati


Chloé Rutzerveld - Malcolm Kratz

The Aquaponic System

In 2014 we started to build an aquaponic system in one of the greenhouses. Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines the cultivation of vegetables and fish. It is one of the best ways to produce food in the city, because it hardly takes up any space

When we moved to our current location: The Biotoop, the aquaponic greenhouse moved with us.  Here it transformed into a serious urban oase in which we conduct research into the urban farming system, and grow herbs and vegetables that we use in our restaurant. 


greenhouse - aquaponics greenhouse with small aquaponics system lukas pressler

With: Esmee Mooi


Aquaponics - Mediamatic has their own urban agriculture system in the form of an Aquaponics greenhouse at the Biotoop Dijkspark, near Amsterdam Central station. Aquaponics is a way to sustainably produce food in the city, because it hardly takes up any space. Plants and fish are cultivated together. The fish excrete ammonia which gets transformed by bacteria into nitrate. The nitrate serves as fertilizer for the plants. Anisa Xhomaqi


Collection of harvested exotic peppers at Aquaponics greenhouse - Eloise Peredruk

Spectrum Crops

In 2017 Diana Scherer researched into the impact of color on certain plants. For the occasion we built five small houses, each with different colored glass, on the waterside of our building. 


Spectrum Crops - Artist Diana Scherer researches the impact of colour on plant development in her new Spectrum Crops project initiated at Mediamatic. Chiara Barraco


Spectrum Crops - Try out by Diana Scherer to research the impact of coloured light on plant development, in preparation of her new Spectrum Crops project at Mediamatic. Diana Scherer


Building up Spectrum Crops - Artist Diana Scherer researches the impact of colour on plant development in her new Spectrum Crops project initiated at Mediamatic.

Fashion Machine Project

With the Fashion Machine Project in 2017, activist designer Conny Groenewegen wanted to draw attention to the large amount of waste produced in the fast fashion industry. As a part of this project, she covered our complete building in fleece sweaters and organised a trash-fashion performance. The colored greenhouses were the decor of the show.


26-09-2017 Uitmarkt 2017 - FAMA model showing one of the #CutFAMA SS17 - A weekend with (bio)cultural activities and projects as 'Interwoven' curated by Diana Scherer, a spectacular runway show 'Artsy Onesie Tango Rave' and presentations from Wouter Hassing and Corinne Mulder. This look was created by Myriam Debbagh. She also made the picture. Model is Tania Zagaria. The full collection shown at Artsy Onesie Tango Rave during Uitmarkt 2017 in Amsterdam. Part of  Conny Groenewegen's Fashion Machine Project. Diana Scherer

Virus Free Plants

One year later, the greenhouses served as a lab and exhibition space for artist Pei-Ying Lin. In her project 'The Secret Life of Plants' she researched into the impact of the surrounding on plants. She looked at the impact of viruses on plants and also experimented with music to see if/how sound affects plants. 


The Secret Life of Plants - Giulia Menicucci



Virophilia - Giulia Menicucci


In 2019 the houses were transformed for the installation Diadromí by artist Heleen Blanken. Every house depicts and draws attention to a certain miracle that is part of the earth's ecosystem, like the precious metals. The installation emphasises the fragility of the system and comments on the relation between humans and nature. 


Visitor looking at a part of the installation in which comments on the relation between human and nature - Anisa Xhomaqi


Close-up of Diadromi depicting different parts of nature, in this case precious metals - Anisa Xhomaqi

Neo Futurist Dinners

Since 2018 we have been experimenting with food and forms of eating in a series of Neo Futurist Dinners. In each edition we invite an artist and chef to present their vision on the future of food. 

The Chromatic Dinner

Based on Kandinsky's Klangfarben and the Chinese Five elements, Artist Martin Butler and vegan chef Alexander Gershberg present a wholesome and harmonious eating experience. Each course is designed in a different color. As such, color, smell, texture, sound and taste all mixed in this cross-Atlantic recap of this fully immersive dinner. 

This Neo-Futurist Dinner was also presented at Seattle Design Week in 2018


Wearing red blindfolds - Participants wearing red blindfolds during the green starter during the Chromatic dinner Anisa Xhomaqi


Synesthetic dining during the white course from Chromatic Dinner -

The Beauty Dinner

The Beauty Dinner explored the relationship between skin and gastronomy in 8 courses. artists Margherita Soldati, Krisztina Czika and Chef Alice Héron created dishes that could be applied to the skin as well as to be eaten. The idea was to eat, play and be pampered in a culinary beauty salon.


Fruit leather is applied to delicate parts of the face and becomes part of course 6 - Willem Velthoven

With: Yanqi Huang

Smearing the spinach pesto all over the face - Course 5 - Nourishing - Anisa Xhomaqi

A la Mano

Italian food designer Giulia Soldati and chef Tommaso Buresti presented a culinary experience that extends taste to touch and that explores new food interactions. No cutlery and plates were involved, instead, the food had to be eaten by hand. The traditional way of perceiving food is replaced by a new sensorial celebration of the action of eating, twirling spaghetti and breaking thin pastry with the fingers.  


Spaghetti A La Mano - The third course of this Neo Futurist Dinner involved Spaghetti on woorden structures.  Anisa Xhomaqi


A La Mano dinner - Futuristic dinner Italian food designer Giulia Soldati and chef Tommaso Buresti present a culinary experience that extends taste to touch. No cutlery and plates involved, instead hands are used to enjoy food and to explore new food interactions.

If you want to know more about the Neo Futurist Dinners and read about previous editions, please have a look here.