HOUSING AND SHOPS MARINIERSWEG
VAN DEN BROEK & BAKEMA, 1954-1957, Mariniersweg 1-55, Rotterdam
Van den Broek & Bakema
Set in the angle formed by Goudsesingel and Mariniersweg, two broad thoroughfares with stocky buildings to both sides, is this six-storey housing block atop a raised basement of 14 retail units. These shops, which can also be accessed from a goods yard, are punctuated by seven stair towers. The centremost tower marks the exact point at which the building pivots. The corner treatment is spectacular, not least due to the extended balconies, borne aloft on a pair of freestanding round concrete columns, that parry the vertical thrust of the stair tower. A single furniture store occupied the ground floor for years before Groene Passage, a shopping centre run on green philanthropic principles, moved in in 1997. The accompanying conversion shares the vibrancy and spatial quality of the building's reconstruction-era architecture.