The city center of The Hague is buzzing with people, concentrating the urban vitality of the growing region. As retailers seek new high-quality venues, this design project focused on providing a new shopping arcade in the city's busiest district.
In preparation for the design project in The Hague, the urban context has been thoroughly analyzed. In addition to a range of traditional urban analysis methods new methods such as Visibility Graph Analysis have been used to predict the pedestrian movement around and within the design. Since pedestrian activity is of vital importance for the success of the ground floor retail component in the plan, these methods have been taken a step further and implemented in an extensive pedestrian model of The Hague, shown to the right.
The design for the Spuikwartier contains new urban connections. Not just physical, but also visual, programmatical and social connections are made, giving citizens a reason to visit this new town center asset. Embedded into the current monumental context of central The Hague, these connections emphasize the current identity of the area, rather than attempting to create a separated environment. The project contains more than retail: it provides housing and office space and connects with underground transportation.
The design has a high level of complexity, spreading across several layers above and below ground level. It crosses the border between urbanism and architecture, and sets guidelines for building and the design of public space. The research and design was published in the Delft Architecture Annual 2006-2007. Today, a shopping arcade has indeed been constructed in this area.