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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rotterdam attractions

1. Bijenkorf Department Store

0.07 MILES

Legendary Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer worked with Amsterdam-based architect Abraham Elzas on the design of this department store, which opened in 1957…

2. McDonald's

0.14 MILES

Anyone who isn't convinced by Rotterdam's claim to the status of one of the world's most interesting cities of architecture need only check out the brach…

3. Stadhuis


One of the few city-centre buildings to emerge unscathed after the WWII bombardments, this grandiose building designed by HJ Evers was constructed between…

4. Café De Unie

0.22 MILES

A tribute to the original De Stijl building designed by JJP Oud and built in 1924, this cafe features the bright colours that are forever associated with…

5. Museum Rotterdam

0.23 MILES

The attractive Timmerhuis building designed by Rotterdam-based Rem Koolhaas is a classy location for this museum profiling the city's past, present and…

6. Timmerhuis

0.23 MILES

Designed by OMA, the 'Carpenter's House' (2009–15) incorporates apartments, shops, restaurants and Museum Rotterdam. Often described as a 'floating cloud'…

7. Santa Claus

0.27 MILES

This controversial statue of a gnome-like Santa holding what may be a pine tree but may also be a butt plug (sex toy) was designed by American artist Paul…

8. Maritiem Museum Rotterdam

0.28 MILES

Children adore this museum overlooking Leuvehaven, whose permanent exhibits are emphatically kid-focused. The best of these is the 'Offshore Experience',…