Architecture | Magazijn de Bijenkorf, Rotterdam by W.M. Dudok
Magazijn de Bijenkorf, Rotterdam by W.M. Dudok 1929-1940 1941-1957


English translation below
These pictures show what was left of it after the bombardement

Op 16 oktober 1930 werd, onder belangstelling van 30.000 bezoekers, aan het van Hogendorpsplein (als een soort afsluiting van de Coolsingel) het imposante gebouw van de Bijenkorf in gebruik genomen.

Het ontwerp van de beroemde architect W.M. Dudok (1884-1974) straalde grootstedelijkheid en grandeur uit. Door de immense glasvlakken, de heldere gele kleur van de bijzondere steensoort verblendsteen, en de stroken zwart, wit en goud geglazuurde steen was het gebouw een echte blikvanger in het hart van de Rotterdamse binnenstad.

De Bijenkorf heeft slechts tien jaar voor winkelgenot kunnen zorgen, omdat het gebouw zwaar beschadigd raakte tijdens het Duitse bombardement op 14 mei 1940. Tijdens de wederopbouw werd besloten op driehonderd meter afstand van het ‘oude’ gebouw een volledig nieuwe Bijenkorf te bouwen, en de oude restanten af te breken.

In 1957 werd het op last van de gemeente - feitelijk net 30 jaar oud - gesloopt in verband met de aanleg van de Westblaak en de metro naar Rotterdam-Zuid.

Reden van mijn fascinatie: Mijn oma (1904-1993) heeft mij ooit zo vol enthousiasme over dit gebouw verteld. Dat is altijd blijven hangen...

English translation

The upmarket department store "de Bijenkorf" (The Beehive) opened their third branch in Rotterdam the 16th October 1930. It was quite an event because about 30.000 people visited the so called "glass palace" that opening day.

Designed by the famous architect W.M. Dudok it was a real eyecatcher in the Rotterdam city centre, with its glass facade and yellow shining stones. The minaret with a lightened flame was a real landmark at the end of the Coolsingel which was turned into a modern boulevard with many new built buildings since the twenties of the last century.

Shopping here was only possible for 10 years because it became heavily damaged during the 1940 bombings of the Rotterdam citycentre. The mid section of the building was completely destroyed. During the rebuilding of the city in the fifties the entire streetplan was redesigned and since the remains of the buidling were standing in the way for a big crossing it was torned down in 1957. A new building was created (designed by Marcel Breuer) 300 meters across the street. It opened in 1957 and became a symbol of the rebuilding period of Rotterdam.


De Bijenkorf (literally, "the beehive") is a chain of upscale department stores in the Netherlands with its flagship store on Dam Square, Amsterdam. It was founded by Simon Philip Goudsmit (1845-1889) in 1870 as a small store along the Nieuwendijk, one of Amsterdam's oldest streets, it offers many prestigious brands in clothing, accessories, beauty, food, and home. De Bijenkorf has 12 stores nationwide. The oldest and largest branches, situated in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam are referred to by the company as its flagship stores, with retail space ranging between 15,000 and 20,000 square meters. Smaller stores (7,500-10,000 m² of retail space) can be found in Amstelveen, Arnhem, Eindhoven, Enschede, Utrecht and Maastricht. The branches in Breda, Den Bosch and Groningen specialize in fashion (3,000 m² retail space). De Bijenkorf was owned by Maxeda (formerly known as VendexKBB), but sold to Selfridges at the end of 2010.

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