The western side of Mariniersweg, a main traffic artery in the city centre in the future, will soon be developed along much of its length. The 140-metre long development to be built here will contain 76 flats above fourteen shops. The architecture firm of Professor Van den Broek and Bakema has designed this structure. Protruding elements and the way in which the architects have accommodated the curve of Mariniersweg into their structure lend the facade a constantly changing appearance. They designed continuous balconies that take up the curve of the street.
Het Vrije Volk 5-1-1955
Architecture of the big city
Mariniersweg was an important new traffic artery in the Basic Plan, intended to create a quick connection to the bridges across the Maas. In the end, however, the planned traffic intersection at Oudehaven was never built. Quite the contrary, the construction of the complex designed by Piet Blom in the early 1980s ensured that the streamlined cross-river connection for vehicles never materialised. But the broad Mariniersweg did become a major traffic corridor, and the development along the street is designed to flank that corridor, with the curved block by Van den Broek and Bakema as the architectural highlight. Genuinely metropolitan architecture: a tall base containing shops, five floors of apartments, and a roof level with additional rooms for the homes on the fifth floor.
Genuinely metropolitan architecture: a tall base containing shops, five floors of apartments, and a roof level with additional rooms for the homes on the fifth floor.
The block forms a single entity with the housing and shops on Pannekoekstraat at the rear. A delivery lane extends through the building to serve the shops on both streets. The shops on Mariniersweg were generously dimensioned: 9.50 metres wide, 19 metres deep and 6 metres tall. Each shop contained a mezzanine across the full width of the space as well as a storage basement. A canopy frames the shop fronts. Set between the shops are seven entrance halls that lead to the apartments above, though the retail spaces extend behind these halls.
The fan-shaped hallway at the bend in the building eliminated the need to design any complicated corner apartments, so all dwellings are rectangular in plan.
Ten apartments open onto each hallway, which also contains a lift. The fan-shaped hallway at the bend in the building eliminated the need to design any complicated corner apartments, so all dwellings are rectangular in plan. There are two types of apartment: one has a balcony only, while the other has a balcony with a protruding triangular sun lounge. The balconies overlook the street, and the apartments also feature a loggia at the rear. The way in which the balconies dovetail past each other at the bend in the building is spectacular. Unfortunately, fully mature trees now largely hide all views of this elegant play of lines. The apartments contain a large central hallway. Bedrooms are kept to the quieter rear side.
Many furniture shops traditionally occupied the ground-floor spaces of the building. By 1969 all units were occupied by De Stam furniture shop, which also used parts of the basement level and removed some mezzanines. In 1996-97, after the departure of De Stam to Alexandrium furniture mall, a large number of the shops were converted into De Groene Passage, a socially and environmentally friendly shopping centre. The post-war reconstruction architecture turned out to be flexible enough to accommodate this new arrangement by Noorderlicht Architects. Alternative, yet without the aura of sandal-wearing environmentalists, although a feng shui expert was consulted.
(…) the combination of the colourful and varied programme of De Groene Passage and the functional design of this building turns out positively in two ways. De Groene Passage is liberated from the uncoolness that the alternative sector is often accused of. On top of that, this vitality in the building reveals again the architectural power and the open, optimistic vision of the city and society that this building exudes. Bouw 1998-12 The complex is a designated municipal monument.