2016 - ongoing

Kern Bijzonder

2016 - ongoing

Kern Bijzonder

After almost thirty years, Bureau B+B updates the famous plan ‘The healthy Core’. The economic and social circumstances have changed, but the city still requires coherence, identity and quality.


Den Haag


Gemeente Den Haag

Surface Area

7 ha

In 1987 Bureau B+B designed ‘The Healthy Core’ for The Hague, a master plan for the renovation of the city centre. The concept was based on five linear atmospheres, each with its own spatial identity. The heart line connected the different linear atmospheres. Every linear atmosphere had its own recognizable identity, forging the city centre into a coherent unit.


In 2016 the Municipality of The Hague made a sequel to the Healthy Core: the Exceptional Core. The spatial linear atmospheres are complemented with eight areas of ambience, forming functional, economic units. The heart line will be transformed into a pedestrian-friendly area; most cars and trams will be diverted. Bureau B+B explored the meaning of the heart line in this new situation and made a sketch design for the renovation. By combining the best of the two concepts, a vision emerges in which areas of ambience from the Exceptional Core are developed around the linear atmospheres from the Healthy Core. The heart line connects all the different zones and areas. Several highlights of the inner city are situated close to, or even on the heart line. The exceptionally wide profile provides enough room for a pleasant route along these squares and monuments. The heart line becomes ‘The Best Of’ route of The Hague.

The reduction of car traffic makes it possible to create a shared space boulevard on the heart line. In this shared space, bicycles, public transport and local traffic all use a central lane, subtly marked on the pavement. This leaves generous pedestrian lanes on either side. The heart line is transformed from a place to pass, to a place to be. On the crossroads of the heart line and the squares, the design of the street dominates the design of the squares. The squares are undermined by this.

In the proposed situation, the squares are no longer dissected by the street. The traffic lane crosses the square in a modest way. The squares fill all the space and present themselves on the route of the heart line.