Nature-inclusive building The Hague

The city of The Hague has invited DP6 architecture studio to come up with a sketch design for a ‘nature-inclusive’ building. The city wants to promote green and nature-inclusive construction. One instrument developed to achieve that is a points system. The sketch design is intended as a study of the points system and as inspiration for contractors and architects who work for the city of The Hague. 

As a fictional project we selected the redevelopment of the Witte Anna building (Groep 5 Architecten, Wladimir Roemjantsew, 1987) on Prins Bernhardviaduct. Witte Anna is located at a striking intersection where the railway tracks terminate at Den Haag Centraal station and where the metro lines and Prins Bernhard Viaduct cross at various heights. The context has little greenery, with the exception of the connection with Bezuidenhout-West, where the intersection of the diagonal line with the tracks features greenery.
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In our design vision, the greenery climbs from the park at the foot of the tower up to the roof. Each apartment is fitted with a ‘garden’ balcony, with various species of trees and plants, which flower and colour differently in various seasons. The balconies are also fitted with nesting boxes for sparrows, swifts and bats. In our view, the repetition of the balconies makes it possible to build the structure in ultra-high-performance concrete. As a result, the balconies, despite the weight of the ‘garden’, can be relatively thin and light and attached to the loadbearing walls between the apartments. The balconies shift the width of one window per level to create a spiralling movement across the facade of the tower.

In the sketch design the restaurant at the top is fitted with a new transparent greenhouse facade, a water-retaining greenhouse roof and a roof garden with herbs, dwarf shrubs and bushes. The restaurant therefore functions as a greenhouse. There is a synergy between cultivating and consuming food, in combination with a wonderful view.  

Both the green balconies and the roof garden at the top of the tower can store rainwater. The greenery increases biodiversity and reduces the temperature in the city. Moreover, from the perspective of the Prins Bernhard Viaduct and the surrounding hard-surface area, the view of the green tower feels like a breath of fresh air.

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Gemeente Den Haag, Den Haag

Jan van Riebeekstraat, The Hague

Gemeente Den Haag, De stad natuurlijk, natuurinclusief bouwen in Den Haag, March 2019