Façades of The Hague #148

Koninklijke Schouwburg (Royal Theatre), Korte Voorhout corner Schouwburgstraat.

The present theatre was originally built in 1766 as an hôtel-particulier, a grand town house, designed by Pieter de Swart (1709-1772), former court architect of the Prince of Orange, for Charles Christian, prince of Nassau-Weilburg (1735-1788). Charles Christian was married to princess Carolina (1743-1787), sister to prince William V of Orange (1748-1806), stadtholder of the Dutch Republic.

Being the Dutch stadtholder’s brother in law, Charles Christian thought he needed a palace in The Hague, as, if young William V would die, Carolina would take over as stadtholder.

Also William V and Charles Christian were both members of the Nassau clan.

However, already in 1769 Charles Christian returned to Weilburg in Germany.

Because of political problems between the Dutch republic and the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, Charles Christian quitted his Dutch political and military jobs in the Republic in 1784.

By that time the palace was still not finished.

Only the central part stood, while the north and south wings still had to be built.

Also Pieter de Swart had died eleven years before.

What might have become one of his grandest works (he left quite a few stately buildings for the super-rich in The Hague , amongst others Lange Voorhout Palace, the townhouse at 19 Herengracht and Assendelft House at Westeinde) became an unfinished and obsolete edifice.

The rulers of the Batavian Revolution (1794-1799) had no affinity with this landmark of the hated Orange-Nassau dynasty.

In 1802 it was decided to refurbish the building and turn it into a theatre, and in 1804 it opened as the Nieuwe Haagse Stadsschouwburg (New Hague City Theatre).

The present theatre was most recently restored in the 1990s by Charles Vandenhove (1927-2019), who gave it its present outlook.

© Villa Next Door 2022

All pictures were taken in March 2020.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #146 onwards: https://villanextdoore3.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #72 – 145: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Façades of The Hague #147

Governmental office building, Rijnstraat, next to Central Station.

The building contains the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Infrastructure & Environment, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V).

Originally it was designed by the architect Jan Hoogstad (1930-2018) and built in 1992 as the then new and state-of-the-art Ministry of Housing.

The building became almost twice as high as planned and as such it became the base of other high-rise buildings between it and the city centre.

The requirements for the new ministry were almost impossible to meet.

The place being a traffic hub with a lot of noise and environmental pollution because of heavy traffic, it also needed ventilation and windows which could be opened by the civil servants.

Further on bikers and pedestrians had to be able to easily reach the city centre and Central Station.

Last but not least a special provision had to be made for the tramway viaduct from Central Station to the city centre.

The result was a very special building with big conservatories with big green plants.

By 2009 a ministry of housing was thought no longer to be important, as the free market would solve all problems.

The remaining departments for infrastructure and environmental issues remained in the building, while new places had to be created for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the other services.

This caused the whole building to be redesigned by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 2009.

An extra wing was added, and today the whole building looks more like a middle-of-the-road international office building.

The special features are not really significant.

At the time of writing there is quite a heavy housing crisis in the Netherlands and a new Minister of Housing was appointed last year (after eleven years of increasing problems).

It remains to be seen if the new Minister has the guts to make radical and useful decisions.

However, at any rate, this once remarkable postmodern Neo-rationalist building is now lost for that immense job.

© Villa Next Door 2022

All pictures were taken in March 2020.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #146 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #72 – 145: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!

Façades of The Hague #146

Temporary car park, Leyweg corner Florence Nightingaleweg. The car park (pictures of which were taken in 2020) has now been cleared for building activities (see last picture, taken recently).

This posting refers back to the first posting of the series Façades of The Hague back in 2016. Click here to see it.

This used to be my first place of residence in The Hague. Well, of course in a way it still is, but the building itself where i lived was broken down mid last decade. It was the eye hospital, a rather elegant building designed by Sjoerd Schamhart (1919-2007).

As a Royal Academy student i rented a room there in the nurse’s house, which was quite cheap and comfortable. I lived there for some five years until i got a studio at Stille Veerkade in the city centre.

© Villa Next Door 2022

All pictures were taken in March 2020 except for the last one, which was taken in April 2022.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #146 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #72 – 145:

https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!