A ‘court-capital’ ensemble
The redevelopment of the former KLM head office at 1–6 Plesmanweg in The Hague entailed the transformation of the existing office spaces into luxury dwellings, apartments and a mix of urban functions such as hospitality and retail.
This transformation offered a promising opportunity to reposition the building within its setting, the green villa neighbourhood of Duttendel. Since the phased construction of the KLM building, this charming neighbourhood has evolved into a highly desirable residential environment. The removal of the 1987 office wing made way for a new composition based on the original building volume.
The resulting ensemble can be read as a country estate, an imposing structure that is embedded in Duttendel and that brushes up against Hubertus Park. In a logical manner it ties together the disparate elements of the immediate vicinity – Stadskwekerij, the Kwekerijvaart, the meandering cycle tracks and footpaths – and further away the sports grounds and riding school that are part of the green background.
In both the old and the new buildings, the residential function is somewhat masked by the monumentality of the building. Through its refurbished and imposing character, the ensemble relates strongly to surrounding residential areas, and through its history and scale it relates to the city of The Hague with an allure and grandeur appropriate to both the listed building and its surroundings. Predominantly green, but with a subtle contrast between Duttendel on the one hand and Plesmanweg/Konininnegracht on the other. By taking advantage of the existing difference in height on the plot, parking was hidden below grade, allowing the green character of the surroundings to link up with the green courtyard in the new ensemble.
commission: masterplan for the transformation and extension of the historic former KLM headquarters in The Hague | client: Impact Vastgoed | design: 2017