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

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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

Façades of The Hague #54

Villa Blaeck, Nieuwe Parklaan.

It was designed by architect H. Wesstra jr. (1843 – 1911) in his late romantic decorative style and it was built in 1899.

Its original name was Villa Mariotto and it was meant for tourists staying in the then chic seaside resort of Scheveningen.

By the late 20th century the villa was painted completely white, but happily the white paint has been removed, the outside was brought back to its original decorative state (except for the roof tiles) and it was given its present name.

Today it contains apartments.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

©Villa Next Door 2017

All pictures were taken in March 2016

 

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #53

Building Molenstraat corner Oude Molstraat.

Façade probably (re)built first quarter of the 20th century.

The part in Oude Molstraat contains the popular pub and restaurant de Oude Mol.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

©Villa Next Door 2017

All pictures were taken in March 2016

 

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #51

In December 2015 the permanent International Criminal Court was opened.

It was designed by Danish bureau Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects.

It should reflect both power and trust, transparency and fortification of law and democracy.

It was built on the premises of a former army barracks on the edge of the sand dunes along the coast.

That makes the mighty six towering blocks a marker in the landscape.

Coming from the coast it can be seen emerging from the dunes.

Its ecological footprint is said to be as small as possible.

In spite of its colossal dimensions it also has quite some elegance in its outer design (i haven’t yet seen its interior).

It is situated in the triangle Van Alkemadelaan, Maurits Kiekpad and Oude Waalsdorperweg where it has its main entrance.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

©villa Next Door 2017

All pictures were taken in March 2016

 

Bertus Pieters