The Hague, 2005-2014
After more than five years’ incubation, our project for a hotel and shopping center in The Hague evolved with the developer’s economic constraints. As the site became increasingly smaller and the program became less ambitious, the architectural imperative also became more specialized: to create a new urban passage, comparable to the historic Hague Passage to the north, as well as the great passages throughout Europe. We wanted to approach the project as a building that was incontrovertibly Dutch, but also had an international flavor—a combination in keeping with the role of The Hague among other European cities.
The “passage” has a great tradition with a variety of spatial configurations. Passageways are not identical: their ceiling heights, colors, openness, and pedestrian traffic all vary. They can be wide or tight. There is no homogenous configuration (in marked contrast with the 20th-century enclosed shopping mall, whose typology is similar, no matter where on the globe you are located). more
The blue of the tiles was originally suggested as a way to bring a sense of light and openness into the passage interior. The tiles are light blue—close in color to a blue sky on a sunny day—which, in combination with the white tiles, will give a clean, airy feel to the space, drawing customers in from the bustle of the streets.
The use of ceramic tiles is also a nod to Dutch history, suggesting the tin-glazed Delftware tiles that were ubiquitous in 17th- and 18th-century architecture in The Netherlands. Our strategy appropriates them in a contemporary way that references the traditional significance of The Hague as the internationally recognized home of Dutch culture. The particular shade of blue used could also be viewed as an oblique reference to the original light-blue flag of Prince William of Orange. back
Projected Completion, 2014
Spuimarkt Beheer B.V. represented by Multi Vastgoed B.V.
Architect and Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Joel Rutten, Christopher Lee, Dominic Leong, Athanasios Manis, Paul-Arthur Heller, Colin Spoelman, Paula Tomisaki, Mathieu Crabouillet, Angie Co, John Eastridge, Alan Kusov, Nefeli Chatzimina.
Associated Architects: B+M Den Haag bv back