1987 - 1995
1987 - 1995
The highly regarded monster project for The Hague, ‘De Kern Gezond’, has taken on an exemplary function for many other city centres redesigning projects. At the start of the project, an attempt was made to uncover the city centre’s essential qualities from the vantage point of a helicopter. Landscape architect Alle Hosper, the project’s supervisor, placed it with Bureau B+B.
Gemeente Den Haag
The designers saw The Hague as five parallel linear zones, namely: the aristocratic green area, the closed inner courtyards, the narrow shopping streets, the broad shopping streets and the pedestrian route between the train station and the city hall. The five east-west lines were transected by a sixth ambience line, with a north-south orientation: the Spui-Hofweg-Kneuterdijk artery. This approach enabled the firm to gain insight into the system of the city. By coupling a specific public-space concept to this system, the firm succeeded in contributing both coherence and identity. The project is also exemplary because of the interdisciplinarity of the method employed.
The segregation of the municipal departments was abolished through the use of a collective studio that, by 1988, was able to present its integral vision. In 1991, the firm could look back on a successful project: ‘With the policy document “De Kern Gezond”, a process was set in motion in the city centre of The Hague that is directed towards a multiplicity of aspects: accessibility, safety, use, traffic and visual quality. With élan and enthusiasm, an attempt is being made to escape from a stifling routine. In this sense, “De Kern Gezond” presages a change in the mentality of great significance.’