|Icw||Arno Coenen, Iris Roskam en Hans van Bentem|
|Commisioner||Bouwinvest Development B.V.|
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Beurspassage and its history
The passageway linking Nieuwendijk with Damrak near the Beurs van Berlage has a history that goes back to the fifteenth century. The former alleyway Baafjessteeg dates from 1416. In the late nineteenth century it was roofed over and integrated in the office building of an insurance company, De Algemeene Maatschappij van Levensverzekering en Lijfrente. The building, designed by H.P. Berlage, was a mix of architectural styles – functionalism and Jugendstil. Baafjessteeg was turned into an arcade (Beurspassage), a function it retained when in 1912 the building was redeveloped into C&A’s flagship store and headquarters. In 1963 the building was virtually destroyed by fire, with only the façade left standing. Five years later, a new building, also incorporating an arcade, was built for C&A, to a design by the architectural office Van der Laan.
Beurspassage forms part of the redevelopment of the buildings Damrak 70 and Nieuwendijk 196. The buildings and Beurspassage are being redeveloped under the name ‘Nowadays’ by the firm TOP Vastgoed en Bouwinvest Development and are to house retail space.
The shop building is to be stripped and will be given new brick elevations. The new Beurspassage is several metres longer than its predecessor and with a height of 8 metres and a width of 4.5 metres it has a spacious and open character. Beurspassage comprises a glass mosaic artwork called ‘Amsterdam Oersoep’ (Amsterdam primordial soup). It is a homage to Amsterdam’s canals and measuring 450 square metres it is the city’s largest artwork. Designed by the husband and wife artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam together with Hans van Bentem, the integral artwork comprises a mosaic-covered ceiling, a terrazzo-covered floor (consisting of marble granules) and tile pictures that incorporate gold leaf along the walls. In addition, Van Bentem has designed gold-coloured chandeliers composed of bicycle parts, while the walls are decorated with stained-glass objects.