De Bijenkorf Garage

In the very heart of Amsterdam is a building – a parking garage – that often goes unnoticed. It plays a supporting player to its neighbor, for whom it was built. It is the De Bijenkorf Garage. A tall and imposing grey block of cement illuminated by sparkling glass blocks that shine with the passing sun.

It was built in 1980 just as the philosophy on shopping had begun to change. Department stores made use of their size by immersing shoppers into a cocoon of leisure, blocking outside windows with boxed vitrines. All light was directed inward. Shoppers were welcomed by the hundreds from in and around Amsterdam and needed a place to park.

On seven winding floors, 500 parking spots were built. The cement and glass blocks sealed the new mass noise pollution. The archited F.J. van Gool had to respect the curving shape of the building as its alley turns into Warmoesstraat. The angular façade dotted with glass blocks take the center stage, and the curve was brought in by the nature of a garage.

Cement, glass, steel bars and metal pipes. Excellent corners to study and fantastic corners of light and dark, and great views from the top.

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