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/

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