Façades of The Hague #62

Façade of a three storey 18th century building with corbels in Louis XIV style, Wagenstraat. Shop front in a much later style.

The ground floor contained the famous HCAK (Haags Centrum voor Actuele Kunst – The Hague Centre for Contemporary Art) from the late 1970s onward, which was the first non-commercial artists run presentation platform in The Hague and one of the first in the Netherlands. Later it moved to Stille Veerkade (click here to see the place) where it continued its activities until the early 1990s.

It now houses a carpenter’s shop. The façade is a municipal monument.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

All pictures taken in March 2017

Bertus Pieters


Façades of The Hague #61

Façade with apartments and a shop front, Wagenstraat; originally 18th century and without the shop front, but it was redesigned first quarter 20th century, adding commercial space on the ground floor.

After different changes of the shop front it got its present character in the beginning of this century.

In spite of its attempt to be elegant the shop front looks too cheap to be in balance with the rest of the gable.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

All pictures were taken in March 2017

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #60

West façade of railway station Den Haag Hollands Spoor, usually abbreviated to Den Haag HS (The Hague HS) or simply HS.

It was built in 1891 as a replacement of the smaller neo-classical station of the 1840s.

One of the two main railway stations in The Hague, HS is connecting The Hague with Leiden, Haarlem and Amsterdam to the north and with Delft, Rotterdam and Antwerp to the south.

It was designed by architect Dirk Margadant (1849-1915), who designed more station buildings, most of them replaced by modern buildings now (notably except for Haarlem).

“Hollandish Iron Railway Society”. With from left to right personifications of Science, Commerce, Industry and Art.

It was built in neo-renaissance style with a lot of decorations and emblems, illustrating speed, culture, science and economic progress, produced by Van den Bossche & Crevels in Amsterdam.

Being the city of the Royal court and the government, it was felt The Hague’s new station had to compete in grandeur with Amsterdam’s Centraal Station.

The biggest novelty of the building was the use of raised platforms with waiting rooms, which made the station hall itself less important and which may be nowadays a bit of a problem with the commercialisation of station halls.

The royal waiting room (the Koninklijk Paviljoen / Royal Pavilion) was however at street level in the north wing of the building and is still kept in old glory with its wooden doors under a marquise.

It has a relief showing the young Queen Wilhelmina surrounded by arts, science, progress, prosperity, etc.

In spite of recent restorations the royal pavilion is next to a somewhat undefined area.

The south wing has a new tunnel for pedestrians and cyclists, and also contains the bike storage.

Today The Hague HS is a state monument.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

All pictures were taken in March 2017

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #59

Façade with apartments and on the ground floor a pub and an entrance to a church, Dunne Bierkade.

It was designed around 1912 by architect Willem Verschoor (1880 – 1968), who later became an important member of the so-called New Hague School (Nieuwe Haagse School).

Originally it was the house where landscape painter Jan van Goyen (1596-1656) lived until 1654 when his financial situation became so precarious that he moved to Wagenstraat around the corner.

From 1649 to 1654 his son in law, the famous genre painter Jan Steen (1625/26-1679), lived there too.

Nowadays it houses the locally well-known pub De Paas, which used to be one of my favourite haunts until the Financial Crisis of the last decade (but you may still find me there now and then).

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

All pictures were made in March 2017

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #58

Glass panelled façade, Casuariestraat.

Originally built in the 1980s, the building soon became uninteresting and obsolete.

In 2011 it was restored by Fokkema Architects and the glass panels were added giving the building a fresh, new start.

The glass panels reflect the Ministry of Finance.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

All pictures were made in March 2017.


Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #57

Den Haag Centraal (The Hague Central Station) seems to be one of the least loved of The Hague’s modern buildings.

Designed by Koen van der Gaast (1923 – 1993) – responsible for many post-WWII railway stations – and built in 1970-1976 to replace an older station and as part of the re-planning and modernisation of the city centre, it seems to have lost its once modernist appeal.

It was brutally stripped of its shelter roof over its main entrance under its concrete façade and moreover, some new postmodern high rise buildings will be placed in the square in front of its mighty gable.

Breaking it down was probably not possible, so other measures were taken to punish it for its radical brutalist appearance.

It is already crowned with rubbish as if it is just a huge outlet store.

Whatever the qualities of the new buildings in the square (and i have my doubts about that), its present and future position can only be explained to a foreigner while blushing with shame.

Not particularly having been a fan of the building, but making pictures of it last March, i came to value its crude modern shape.

Den Haag Centraal is a terminus and it really looks like a buffer stop.

Its eleven horizontal stories look out over the square and the greens of Koekamp (a deer camp) and Malieveld (a historic field, traditionally used for fairs and demonstrations) and its more or less identical back façade looks out over the railways.

Its monumental sculptural qualities, brutalist and functional though they are, are quite impressive.

It has lost its function as a symbolic buffer stop as with recent renovations it has got more main entrances on other sides.

Last decades the façade has become a brooding brownish building, a muttering old lady, ignored by everyone.

The station hall has recently been revamped as a roofed market square by Benthem and Crouwel architects, as railway stations have to earn money these days, don’t ask me why.

They didn’t do a bad job at all but it makes the 1970s building all the more obsolete.

Its height and monumentality have no symbolic function anymore.

The new hall is a kind of big glass box which gives more light and elegance to the concrete environment.

However the environment itself doesn’t really co-operate.

The south Rijnstraat side of the building is a kind of windy and grey public space full of transport, constantly under construction and completely lost for humanity.

The bus platform on the east side will be restored soon, which is the least they can do.

The whole area looks like a failed exquisite corpse, a limbo before your journey.

Anything additional will make it worse.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

All pictures were taken in March 2017


Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #56

Sculpture called Multipipe.

Placed in 1977 it is stylistically a true monument to its time: playful, abstract, and transparently constructed of industrial materials.

It was designed by a group of three artists (they appropriately called themselves De Groep – ‘The Group’): Peter ten Hoorn (1934), Henk van der Plas (1936 – 2009) and Fred van de Walle (1942).

Positioned along Escamplaan it could be interpreted as a joyful goodbye to travellers to the greenhouse horticulture area south of The Hague, the so called Westland.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

All pictures were made in March 2017


Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #55

House with shop front and balcony Laan van Meerdervoort corner Valkenboskade.

Probably built around 1913.

The shop front has probably been modified later.

The Valkenboskade façade shows a fine composition of door, windows and gable.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

©Villa Next Door 2017

All pictures were taken in March 2016


Bertus Pieters