MVRDV - Is Het Haagse Bos The Hague's new Central Park?

Is Het Haagse Bos The Hague's new Central Park?


On the 3rd of October, Winy Maas took part in the Stadsatelier seminar, organized by the municipality of The Hague. This full-day program focused on The Hague as a growing city and invited professionals and citizens to deliberate about the future of the city.

Densification, sustainability, and green space are the key elements in the vision of the Municipality. 'Smart Growing' can only be tackled by integrating residents and other city makers, focusing on the new economy, a resilient society, smart city development and the organizational capacity of the city.

In the coming years, until 2040, the municipality of The Hague wants to realize 50,000 new dwellings in the city centre. Winy Maas, with his expertise and experience in urbanism and architecture, shared his vision on how to develop The Hague. Maas presented volume studies to initiate conversations and he started with a visualisation depicting this would be a tower 18 kilometers tall which he then translated further into visuals of 100 towers. The plan then tests out these 100 towers on various sites around The Hague: the coastline, the motorway, dispersed, the south and so on. The reason for this visualisation is to show how much volume will be needed and that this is reason enough for a serious planning effort rather than just organic growth.

One scenario evaluates realisation of one hundred high-rise buildings with green stepped facades around the Haagse Bos, a park near the city centre. In a spontaneous public vote amongst the audience, The Hague's citizens chose this radical option for city development as their favourite, however a local newspaper picked the story up as if it was a concrete plan and started a poll that showed that only a third of the respondents was in favour of such a radical solution.

MVRDV is currently working on Grotius, two high-rise towers in The Hague and last year created a design for Koningin Julianaplein, the 'entrance' of the city and next to its central station.