Julia's by Merkx + Girod



Dutch architects Merkx + Girod have designed the interiors for a chain of fast-food restaurants serving fresh pasta, to be located at railway stations across the Netherlands.


The first two stores have been opened at Amsterdam and Leiden central stations, with stations in other major Dutch cities expected to follow.


The kitchen of the Amsterdam restaurant consists of three kitchen islands surrounded by a high, corian counter.


Wooden benches with leather upholstery furnish the dining area.


Photography by Roos Aldershoff.


The following text is from  Merkx+Girod:


Fresh Design for Fresh Pasta

The Dutch train stations already offer a large variety of food to their travellers and recently fresh Italian Pasta was added to the menu. Servex, part of the Dutch Railway Company NS, and responsible for exploiting catering formulas at all train stations, introduced Julia’s, a new food-concept offering fresh pasta ‘to stay or to go’. The first pilot stores have been opened at Amsterdam and Leiden central stations, most major cities are scheduled to follow.


At the heart of the concept lies Julia, a strong Italian woman who invites you into her kitchen. Other keywords for the designers were pure, honest, clean, healthy and natural, making the formula stand out in the visual noise of most train stations. Merkx + Girod first looked at the functionalities needed in the kitchen, taking into account that each order of pasta, the sauces, espressos and cappuccinos are prepared on the spot. In the 130m2 space in Amsterdam this resulted into three kitchen islands, extended by a long, high Corian table, enveloping the counter as a skin.


Balancing the speed required in the kitchen, the eating area with robust wooden benches with leather seats offers its guests the opportunity for relaxation while enjoyoing their meal. Pasta shapes drawn by Agata Zwierzynska form a subtle decoration on the surrounding walls. Irma Boom designed all company graphics with it’s bright green accent colour. Merkx + Girod’s design proves that a fast food restaurant does not need to be ‘quick and cheap’ and that durability and elegance can go hand in hand. The use of Cumaru wood, leather, bright green accents, anthracite floor tiles and ‘retro’ white tiles provide a look that is both robust and fresh; buono gusto!


Project: Julia’s - Fresh Pasta ‘to stay or to go’

Location: Amsterdam and Leiden central stations, NL

Area: 130 m2

Client: Servex

Interior Design: Merkx + Girod architect

Project team: Evelyne Merkx, Det van Oers, Sanne Oomen, Klaas Cammelbeeck, Raymond Leentvaar, Marlies Hoevers, Ruben Bus

Illustrations: Agata Zwierzynska

Graphic design: Irma Boom

More Dezeen stories about Merkx + Girod:



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Posted on Tuesday March 10th 2009 at 10:45 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • I like Julia’s naked florescent tubes,
    but they sure have drab gray customers.

  • m

    yeah. Who makes those tubes?

  • Its a pity that while they’ve got such a nice interior, they make undrinkable cappuccino. Also, what is not on the pictures, they have fresh basil plants on the counter that you can add to your pasta yourself.

  • W

    It’s quite empty.

  • klejdi

    I think the design could be bit warmer. This one seems too cold and fails to be impressive to me..
    Honestly, I see nothing more than ordinary.

  • p

    nice design , simple and straight forward

  • Klejdi!The moroccan style,or some eclectic stuff, it seems should be “much warmer”? :D
    Maybe it isnt the”highest quality”,but for the fast food-by me-is quite hot! :D

  • titisnurabadi

    nothing special, but overall is good (simple and cold) :). i am expecting something more than this.., maybe it would be good, if they paint it all in white and add one accent in black,red,blue or whatever it is. **anyway i disaggree with some ecletic stuff on it :) but i agree with you (rokas), fast food is quite HOT!!

  • Katsudon

    It looks like Robocop’s kitchen.
    I like the design as an object here. Materials, lights and build quality looks nice… but if i’m passing by, i will not get my lunch here, not so welcoming. This space tells me i will have some canned food out of a microwave, althought the pastas are probably nice…

  • klejdi

    Rocas, I agree that it is quite hot for a fastfood, (or let’s say it, quite stylish) but not the right style, for my opinion…

    The first picture looks like an office ! A boring office…(now dont tell me about the eating tables, because I refer to the rest of the space)…

    Warmer atmosphere can be reached in millions of ways though…Not necessarily through “morrocan style and eclectic stuff” . What’s the concept behind serving pasta in an icy environment ?

  • klejdi

    I agree with Katsudon : “This space tells me i will have some canned food out of a microwave…”

  • Erli

    I like the colors and the materials used.On the other hand i don’t like the furniture.It gives me a wrong first impression of what the space is used for : the first pic gives me the idea of an office,the second pic gives me the idea of a kitchen in a expencive restaurant,the other one looks like a coffee shop and the other pics give me the idea of a travel agency.I think the furniture doesn’n give the place an identity.
    anyway it looks good.