BIJLMERBAJES BEACH CLUB

COURTYARD OF A SOON TO OPEN BEACH CLUB LOCATED IN A FORMER PRISON AND RUN BY NEWCOMERS GETS A PAINTJOB

The Bijlmerbajes, a former prison in the south east of Amsterdam, was used as a refugee center from 2016 until 2018. During this period United Painting, in collaboration with Refugee Painting, were responsible for colourfully decorating large parts of the outside of the building as well as ‘A Beautiful Mess’; the restaurant inside. This allowed for a design continuity that flows throughout the building, both inside and out.

In 2021 the building complex will close for good. With this in mind the restaurant rebranded themselves and also turned the courtyard outside into a beach. They asked United Painting to return and create some new work that was both keeping up with the summer feeling they were trying to create, but also needed to have a connection to the already existing work.

For this part of the project we re-connected with some of the participants from previous projects such as the refugee centers in Heerhugowaard and Geuzenveld in Amsterdam. This not only helped with the team spirit (many participants had previously worked together) but it also ensured that we had an experienced and motivated team which enabled us to work efficiently.

The initial idea was to paint the entire courtyard that surrounds the beach but the sand was delivered earlier than expected so we were unable to work as of course, paint and sand don’t mix. So, we had to reevaluate our plans. We decided to focus instead on the entrance hallway which in itself is no small feat in regards to size. The result was a brightly painted tunnel using our signature patterns and with arrows marking out a clear 1.5 meter walkway for both entering and exiting the complex.