Provinciehuis

The Hague, Netherlands The Province of South Holland LIAG, Architect-of-Record Government, Repositioning + Transformation 258,000 ft2 / 24,000 m2

Provinciehuis is the headquarters of the Dutch provincial government of South Holland. KPF’s design for this complex project involved new construction, renovation and modernization, and adaptive re-use of existing building components to restore and enliven the multi-purpose civic facility and public space. In addition to retaining the core of an outdated 1960s building, a new cantilever structure was built, as well as two pedestrian overpasses. A failed 1970s building on-site was demolished and a new structure built in its place, connecting to the renovated 1960s building and framing the central courtyard that helps integrate the project into its central location in the city.

As the winner, selected in an international competition that drew 25 entrants, KPF developed an innovative response to the client's call for the creation of the most environmentally progressive building in Holland. Every effort was made to reduce energy consumption and the costs of building operation and maintenance.

The 258,000-square-foot addition to Provinciehuis sits on a corner at the junction of the Zuid-Hollandlaan and Konigskade, close to The Hague's famed Malieveld Park. Its boldly curved form evokes the romantic modern tradition of Willem Marinus Dudok and the Amsterdam School. The curve also functions as part of the building’s efficient spatial program—office spaces feature narrow floor plates, allowing them to make use of ample natural daylighting, while the main public atrium of the structure maximizes the building's natural ventilation. The building's wave-form plan, inspired by the wind-blown sand dunes of the country's shoreline, combines with the newly constructed cantilever structure to reduce the effects of wind shear along pedestrian and bicycle pathways. In this way, the form of the massing provides a sheltered micro-climate that protects against severe coastal winds.

The façades, which feature operable windows set in double-glazed units, both provide a high degree of insulation and give users control over their working conditions. The structure's concrete slab is exposed internally so that its thermal mass can be exploited as part of the building's heating and cooling strategy. In addition, a natural aquifer under the building was incorporated into a low-energy system that uses a heat reclamation wheel to extract and re-use heat from the ventilated air inside. Cooling is aided by a roof installation that extracts cold energy from air outside and stores it 50 meters underground in the groundwater; in summer, a heat exchange system pumps the cold energy up and circulates it through the building.

The refurbishment of the 219,585-square-foot 1960s building on the site and the demolition and subsequent reuse of elements from a failed 1970s building project enabled KPF to make optimum use of the materials and energy already invested in the site. Stone from the existing building's external cladding was re-cut and incorporated into the landscaping retaining walls, while concrete from the demolition was re-used as general fill throughout the landscaping and secondary walls of the site. A pre-existing bomb shelter on-site was retained and converted into a bicycle parking area and a space to house the groundwater pump room. Materials were chosen specifically to minimize environmental impact, including wood from managed woodlands, loc-VOC paints and adhesives, and aluminum of an easily recyclable grade.

The landscaped public courtyard, den Zuid-Hollandplein, is designed to link all of the buildings, and is accessible from public spaces at ground level. At its principal entry point, a cantilevered form extending from the restored 1960s building forms a gateway to the square. Raised above the surrounding roads, the square contains both quiet and dynamic areas, and combines hard and soft textures in the landscape. A large water wall along the northern edge provides a buffer against noise.

Image 1 / 8 | © H.G. Esch