The grocer used to know all his customers. And vice versa. But how can you connect a supermarket to its clientele in these times of quick in-and-out shopping, self-service, and home delivery? The glass facade and walls of the Albert Heijn XL supermarket adjacent to Zaans Medical Centre form a canvas for the company’s inspiring entrepreneurial heritage.
It is a well-known regional success story. At the age of 21, Albert Heijn opened a small grocery shop. He would then expand it into the Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. Albert Heijn’s enterprising history is inextricably linked to the region’s industrial and cultural heritage.
Silo selected highlights from the company’s 125-year history to create a surprising, humorous and delicious graphical storyline. The hand-drawn illustrations show the quality products for which the supermarket is renowned – wine, coffee, biscuits, and fresh vegetables – and the facade of one of its first locations. The drawings also include interesting facts about Albert Heijn.
The area around Zaans Medical Centre has been developed to support healthy living. With fresh produce and innovative food concepts, Albert Heijn XL contributes to this. With the slogan Samen Zaans (All together Zaans), the company collaborates with four local entrepreneurs who highly value craftsmanship, personal attention and the experience of the products they offer.
Using the stairs to the parking deck, you walk through a small village of typical Zaanse houses constructed from fruit and vegetables. With the spatial identity, Albert Heijn stimulates its clients to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Moreover, the illustrations aid orientation and promote the respectful use of the space.
The supermarket is part of a healthcare-focused district built around the hospital. Visitors, patients, staff, and neighbours can combine their stay at Zaans Medical Centre with daily grocery shopping. Extending the hospital’s iconic spatial identity to the supermarket makes the entire district feel like one coherent place.