July 6, 2015

A documentary about Rotterdam’s first Bijenkorf store

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 5:23 pm


Dutch journalist Peter Veenendaal recently produced the documentary ‘City of Light’ about the design, construction, and social effects of Willem Marinus Dudok’s De Bijenkorf in Rotterdam. De Bijenkorf (‘The Beehive’) opened in Rotterdam in 1930 (the picture is above is from 1935), and after barely surviving WWII, it was destroyed in 1960 to make way for a subway station and a new department store designed by Marcel Breuer.

‘City of Light’ presents Dudok’s department store as an important model for retail architecture, including interviews with historians, former employees and local enthusiasts to bring the building back to life. Before the war, Dudok’s building was the first in Rotterdam to have escalators and an electric mat to automatically sweep shoes. The roaring twenties movies of Rotterdam before the war is a reminder that Rotterdam had to seriously reinvent and rebuild itself while other Dutch cities were more fortunate.

In Dutch with English narration and English subtitles:

(Links: www.archdaily.com, WikipediaPhoto of Rotterdam, van Hogendorpsplein by Unknown, some rights reserved)

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April 15, 2007


Filed under: Film by Orangemaster @ 10:51 am

April 26 is the release date of the film Honeyz, the story of two teenage girls who get locked in De Bijenkorf, a major Dutch department store. The good news is, it’s the first ever Dutch film to be released simultaneously in theatres, on the Internet, DVD and mobile phone. The bad news is, some theatres have decided to boycott it for this very same reason.

According to the film’s producer, this it the first time a film has been boycotted for this reason in The Netherlands. Theatres are used to making their profit by being the first to show a film, but since they will have to compete with a simultaneous multimedia release, they are afraid of missing out on profits. But wait, if they boycott, they’ll miss out as well. Odd. Let’s wait and see if this knee-jerk reaction is justified.


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