Cité Lijnbaan

Ode to a shopping street in Rotterdam

After its opening in 1953, Lijnbaan is a big success and gains an international fame as a progressive shopping promenade in the architectural cirque. Van den Broek and Bakema designed a modern pedestrian street, especially for strolling shoppers. The design is unique for its time and the range is totally exceptional. One can go there to the chique boutiques, furniture showrooms and various specialty stores. The exhibition ‘Cité Lijnbaan’, in between the Lijnbaan Flats, shows the changing scene and how Lijnbaan goes along with time.

Lijnbaan has a rich and renowned history. Every ‘Rotterdammer’ has his own memories of this street, which is totally different for each generation. One remembers only the glorious moments  during the reconstruction years, while the other sees the graffiti’s on the shutters as a masterwork. Every decade the Lijnbaan becomes a different street although somehow it stays the same. Art and culture play over the years an unexpected role. Lijnbaan accommodates cinemas like Thalia and Lumière and there is art, theater and music on the street. In the 60’s, after the expansion, Lijnbaancentrum and Berenkuil were the places to be for contemporary art, video, film, jazz and pop music. Notably, every situation is an alternative arrangement for Lijnbaan, with the display cases, terraces, benches, flower beds, planters and lampposts. ‘Despite’ or perhaps ‘because’ of all the changes, Lijnbaan is still popular.