Opened in 1969, the Piazza was originally an open-air square, housing a red-marble sculpture group designed by Mario Negri. The square was located between the building of De Bijenkorf and the Piazza Gallerij, a shopping center. The with green glazed tiles covered luxury department store of De Bijenkorf was designed by Gio Ponti and is known for it’s high profile architecture . Opposite was a shopping center designed by Theo Boosten. In between was a sports shop with a tunnel to the right that led to the Fellenoord neighborhood on the otherside of the train tracks, which is still there today.The square was designed as a recreational space, but it was mainly used as a hangout. There were also all sorts of meetings and later on it became a meeting place for skateboarders. These activities turned out not to be enirely in accordance with the wishes of the shopping public.
The square looked messy and the shopping center was not running well. As a result, the Piazza was eventually completely reconstructed to a design by Massimiliano Fuksas, who also designed the 18 Septemberplein and De Blob. The square became a covered space. Negri’s artworks were moved to the other side of De Bijenkorf, and the steel pipe sculpture, designed by Frans Gast, was placed in Henri Dunant Park. An impressive steel entrance gate was built and a footbridge was also built to the MediaMarkt, located on the other side of the Boschdijktunnel, and the adjacent parking garage. The renewed Piazza, now called Piazza Center, was opened in 2015. Together, the Piazza Center and De Bijenkorf form a spectacular ensemble on the 18 Septemberplein and are a must see for all visitors of Eindhoven.