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Name   Monchyplein
Architects   BOFILL, RICARDO
Date   2003
Address   The Hague, NETHERLANDS
Floor Plan   147000 SQ.M.

The district of Monchyplein lies within the boundaries of The Hague but was completely isolated from the rest of the city, as the area was inadequately connected to the historical centre. The first and most obvious solution to Monchyplein’s urban problems was to connect it with the main axis of the city, as the Dutch architect H.P. Berlage proposed in 1908.

To remodel the physical space of Monchyplein, a program of uses and volumes was first worked out. This regeneration scheme, providing 800 new apartments and office buildings, involved the selective refurbishment of several existing buildings and the design of a central lake and garden.

The scheme combines two different architectural styles, establishing a balanced dialogue between classicism and modernity: classical brick and precast concrete versus modern glass and steel. The building proposes an avant-garde style in which nature is integrated to the point of revealing itself through these combined fa├žades and winter gardens.

The quality of several existing buildings led to their conservation and readaptation for new uses, in keeping with the urban context. The project was divided into three phases according to the anticipated construction plan. The first phase, a semicircle that contains the apartments, represents an imposing interior space that became even more spectacular as subsequent phases progressed. A 50m campanile crowns and gives stability to the composition. This interior space, linked to the city by the Nassauplein square, becomes the centre of the new district and its principal landscaped area, generating a strong sense of place.

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