Architecture in Centrum

Commissioned to design 65 shops in Rotterdam's central business district in the 1950s, architects Jo Van den Broek and Jaap Bakema came up with the concept of a traffic-free shopping precinct and created the Lijnbaan, two intersecting pedestrianised strips lined by two-storey shops made from prefabricated concrete panels. Wide and low, the shops were totally unlike traditional Dutch retail buildings. Van den Broek and Bakema's concept of a fully pedestrianised precinct influenced retail architecture and urban design around the globe.