DEPARTMENT STORE DE BIJENKORF ROTTERDAM
M. BREUER, A. ELZAS, 1953-1957, Coolsingel 105, Rotterdam
Unlike the former Bijenkorf ('Beehive') designed by Dudok but later demolished in the aftermath of the wartime bombing raid, this post-war version of the department store was executed as an almost completely sealed box. A column grid of 12 metres ensures an optimum subdivision of the sales area. Front and rear elevations have a honeycomb cladding of hexagonal travertine panels with horizontal and vertical fluting and slits of fenestration. The restaurant and offices have larger windows. As Breuer refused to conform to the double building line of Coolsingel, a monumental sculpture by Naum Gabo was placed in front of the Bijenkorf to compensate.