DELVA Landscape Architects to Revive The Hague’s Historic Centre With Interconnected Urban Greens

DELVA Landscape Architects to Revive The Hague’s Historic Centre With Interconnected Urban Greens , via DELVA Landscape Architects / Urbanism
via DELVA Landscape Architects / Urbanism

Serving as a new gateway to the city through the connection of various green spaces and public programs, The Green Entrance is DELVA Landscape Architects’ masterplan for a historic district of The Hague. Given The Hague’s future inner-city densification, which involves the creation of 50,000 new houses, the Dutch firm’s aim is to aid these developments through sustainable and green urban strategies, manifested “through an integral approach between landscape design, cultural heritage, mobility, programming and technology.”

Commenting on the project’s primary function, the architects state: “’The Green Entrance’ connects areas that have been isolated over the years. It starts in the spacious and open ‘City Hall’ that connects to the train station and continues to the ‘Koningin Julianaplein’. No narrow doors or gates, but a wide view over the green and lively surrounding public space.”

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The site’s surrounding area, known as the Central Innovation District, is regarded as a knowledge hub, as a home to a number of government agencies, NGOs, the Museum District, as well as The Hague Central Station, which channels the main influx of commuters and visitors. The master plan directly engages this starting point, while tying together four distinct areas: the ‘Koningin Julianaplein’ (Queen Juliana Square), the ‘Koekamp’ (deer camp), the ‘Koninklijk Stadspark’ (Royal City Park) and the ‘Malieveld’ (Malie Field).

Beginning their experience with the Koningin Julianaplein while departing the station, visitors will be greeted with a large public green square at the base of the station. This works in tandem with the newly designed City Hall, which reinforces The Hague’s international reputation as a city and also houses restaurants, bars, and retail stores. Integrated green dunes will link the square with the adjacent park, while there are also 8,500 spaces of underground parking for those arriving by bicycle.

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Key to the public square is a pavilion, located strategically on the northeast corner to maximize solar gain with its terrace. A social and active space is created as soon as the public leaves the neighboring station and high-rise buildings, while the pavilion further reinforces the relationship with the existingpark, which also has a similar hospitality pavilion for ticketing and tourism purposes.

Historically, the Malieveld, Koekamp and Haagse Bos have been integral elements of the city’s urban identity, the latter of which is a rectangular forested park. Designed in 1839 by renowned Dutch landscape architect J.D. Zocher Jr., the Koekamp is at the heart of DELVA’s proposed scheme, also housing the revitalized historical structures of the National Forest Management Agency. The agency’s base is surrounded by water to create an island that will “function as a recreational stepping stone from the city centre to the Haagse Bos.” Circulation paths for bicyclists and pedestrians will link the deer camp to the surrounding park and an overhead bridge will restore the royal axis of ‘Huis ten Bosch’ and ‘Paleis Noordeinde’.

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DELVA has also introduced the Malie Sports Track to the existing open Malie Field, catering to a number of outdoor sports. Inspired by a famous De Stijl work of Piet Mondiraan, the multicolored track also injects public art into the program, while using dynamic lighting that responds to user interaction and movement within the space.

A subproject of ‘City Entrances’ program, The Green Entrance is to be completed in incremental phases, beginning with the Koningin Julianaplein in 2019. This will be well in time for the addition of the 50,000 houses as part of The Hague’s larger densification plan, which is to be achieved by 2025.

News via: DELVA Landscape Architects.

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