Greening the City

Together with Amsterdam-based DELVA Landscape Architecture | Urbanism, we combine architecture and landscape in a seamless design for a new visitor center for the Koekamp – a green expanse that reaches into the heart of The Hague. Our design reflects the importance of the natural setting, which is home to deer and storks, by working with it: the buildings weave among the monumental trees of the Koekamp.

Time span2020 – ongoing
Size600 m²
LocationThe Hague, NL
TypeOffices, Public Spaces, Sustainability
Partner in charge
Paul Stavert
Project team
Structural engineer
Cost consultant
Installations advisor

For this grand entrance to a new national park, the landscape plays a leading role.

New routes to nature

Landscape and architecture intertwined in the re-design of the new Koekamp

New routes to nature

Commissioned by the Dutch forestry commission (Staatsbosbeheer), our new visitor center will play an important role as a gateway to the new Hollandse Duinen national park, and in opening up part of the Koekamp to the public. The Koekamp is part of an ancient landscape linking the heart of the city and its train station to a network of green areas in The Hague and beyond, from Malieveld and the Haagse Bos to the many miles of sand dunes along the coast. These diverse areas are now combined under the umbrella of the new national park. The new visitor center will be the park’s gateway, welcoming and inviting people to explore part of the Koekamp, or venture further afield.

We divided the functions under a triple-winged roof, offering an outdoor experience. Visitors and foresters alike can move between them on an equal level.

Design for trees

The central circular court forms an informal outdoor meeting space

Design for trees

Koekamp’s monumental trees determined the site and size of the new visitor center. To avoid cutting them down, the architecture – in the form of three rustic houses under a unifying roof – nestles among them. The two public ‘houses’ contain an information center, where visitors can learn about the landscape and its long history, and a restaurant. The central circular court forms a pleasantly informal outdoor meeting space and a play area. The third ‘house’ accommodates the offices of the forestry commission, which also has a workshop in an old coach house a short distance away. Visitors will now be able to see and understand some of the foresters’ work.

Koekamp offers a marked contrast with the urban architecture of the Hague by being modern and smooth yet warm and welcoming.

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