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Amsterdam has a brand new icon since December 2016, with the opening of the renewed Beurspassage. Featuring an Italian glass mosaic of 450 square metres and many other ornaments, the new passageway is an integral work of art, forming the crowning achievement of the elaborate redevelopment of the buildings Damrak 70 & 80 and Nieuwendijk 196.
The Beurspassage is transformed into a beautiful piece of art by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam (known for their 'Horn of Plenty' painting on the ceilings of Markthal Rotterdam) and Hans van Bentem (known for his famous chandeliers from the collections by Victor & Rolf), through the use of remarkable materials and their artisan craftsmanship. The work of art, carrying the name Amsterdam Oersoep ('primordial soup'), is both a homage to the Amsterdam canals and a narrative of how all life on earth has originated from water. The ceiling is made of over 450 m2 of glass mosaic, containing images of everything that makes the canal waters of Amsterdam so special. The floor is decorated by a long-standing Italian family firm with Terrazzo and the walls are tiled with handmade stained glass objects. Additionally, the passageway is decorated with large chandeliers inspired by bicycle parts and huge mirrors in art deco style.
The Beurspassage forms the passage between Damrak avenue and the street of Nieuwendijk and is popular among both Amsterdam's inhabitants and tourists. Over recent years, the aged buildings at Amsterdam's Nieuwendijk 196 and Damrak 70 and 80 have been transformed by institutional investor / property owner Bouwinvest and property developer Top Vastgoed into top-modern locations for retail stores of international brands such as Zara, JD Sports and houses the flagship stores of C&A and Primark. The renewed Beurspassage also contains the longest coffee bar in the world: Liquid Mokum. The full renovation project, known by the name of Nowadays, encompasses around 27.500 square meters. For Amsterdam's main shopping district, the scale of the project is remarkable and by Dutch standards, Nowadays is an unusually large and thorough renovation of inner-city retail property. The completion of Nowadays, and the opening of the new Beurspassage as the closing achievement, was Bouwinvest's final chapter in one of the largest Dutch inner-city retail redevelopment projects of the last few years.
An attractive city centre
With the project Nowadays (both the buildings on Nieuwendijk and Damrak and the passageway, including the work of art) Bouwinvest contributes to the creation of a comfortable and attractive city centre. The renewed Beurspassage is becoming the favourite passage among both tourists and inhabitants.
The redevelopment project was established in close cooperation with the municipality of Amsterdam, as a part of Project 1012, aimed at the urban-economic transformation of the city centre into a more diverse and attractive area for Amsterdam's citizens and visitors, in line with the new Rode Loper (“Red Carpet") city entrance.