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The renovation of De Lijnbaan, the beating shopping heart of Rotterdam and since 2010 a national monument, has started. De Lijnbaan is world famous as the first car-free shopping promenade, realised in the reconstruction period after the war by the Rotterdam architects Van den Broek en Bakema. Mei architects and planners is particularly proud to be involved in this ambitious renovation to bring back the original high quality in about 800 meters of Lijnbaan facades.

With the renovation of 800 meters of canopies and façades the original high quality and appearance of the 1950s will return in the monumental ensemble. In an intensive collaboration with the property owners, retailers, municipality, the Cultural Heritage Council and the Rotterdam Commission for the Built Environment and Monuments, this ambition is now being implemented as part of the Urban Department Store. This week, Construction Company J.P. van Eesteren started with the renovation of the part of De Lijnbaan between Aert van Nesstraat and Van Oldenbarneveltplaats.

Living room feeling

The canopies at the retail premises, together with the crossover canopies, form a characteristic part of the design for De Lijnbaan by the Rotterdam architects Van den Broek and Bakema. Since the construction in 1953, the necessary changes have gradually changed, so that the unity disappeared. With the design of Mei architects and planners, the living room feeling returns to De Lijnbaan. While emphasizing the use of wood and other warm materials, the unity of canopies and façades does justice to the monument as a whole.

Low maintenance awnings

The canopies get a durable wood covering. This wood is sprayed with a paint that only needs to be treated once every six years. Therefore, the canopies need low maintenance, which is also pleasant for shopkeepers and shoppers. The wooden ceiling panels for the canopies are prefabricated in the carpentry workshop and transported as a whole to De Lijnbaan. It saves building materials and construction waste on site and ensures faster assembly. For the environment this is a solution that gives relatively little inconvenience.

Pressure shopping area

Because De Lijnbaan is a national monument, adjustments to the original design by Van den Broek and Bakema are always made in consultation with the Cultural Heritage Council and the Rotterdam Commission for the Built Environment and Monuments. The renovation also takes place in a busy shopping area. This means that safety and limiting nuisance play a more important role during construction.

The work of this first part of the renovation is expected to be completed in September 2018. According to expectations, the other blocks – Lijnbaan between Aert van Nesstraat, Kruiskade and Korte Lijnbaan – will follow in 2019.

 

Photo Mock-up by Bert Rietberg