Van bank naar bank

Wilhelmina lock

Nederlands English
This was the first “Social Sofa” in Zaanstad. It was officially unveiled in 2020 by the counsil of the province of North-Holland and Heijmans Builders, who jointly commissioned it to commemorate their (not altogether seemless) cooperation on the renovation of the adjacent Wilhelmina lock. That is why the word “Wilhelminasluis” is featured on the back of the sofa. It was designed by local artist Olivier Rijcken and it took him and a team of volunteers some 350 hours to complete the mosaic work (30.000 pieces).
The idea behind the Social Sofa project is to help people meet and communicate by providing benches in strategic places, in order to enhance a feeling of togetherness. The basic design of this heavy concrete structure shaped like a “chaise longue” was done by Karin Buers, who started the project with 23 sofas in the city of Tilburg in 2006. ‘To bring people in from the social cold, we came up with these sofas to turn the street into a cosy living room,’ she states.