De Kroon Office and residential buildings / Rapp+Rapp

De Kroon Office and residential buildings / Rapp+Rapp

© Kim Zwarts

© Kim Zwarts© Kim Zwarts© Kim Zwarts© Kim Zwarts+ 32

© Kim Zwarts
© Kim Zwarts

Text description provided by the architects. In The Hague‘s Wijnhavenkwartier, located between the central station and the Spui, next to the new Foreign Ministries, where the residential building Zwarte Madonna was demolished in 2007, stands De Kroon, a residential tower 131 m high including offices and commercial space. The area is bounded on three sides by important traffic arteries: the Turfmarkt, an important pedestrian zone from the central station in the center of The Hague, the Schedeldoekshaven, an important road connection for cars, buses and trams and the Lage Zand also a tram line. The basic design principles of the building are based on the plot parameters of early American skyscrapers. An important reference for the building was the earliest skyscraper typology of late 18th and early 19th century Chicago.

© Kim Zwarts
© Kim Zwarts

Office and residential buildings are located next to each other on a commercial plinth. The 23 m high office building, organized around an atrium hall, extends continuously from Turfmakrt to Schedeldoekshaven. Next to it is the residential tower of 253 apartments: almost exclusively corner apartments, accessible by an interior corridor. The recesses of the tower are in line with the height of the adjoining buildings and guarantee sufficient sunshine at street level. Similarly, the ultimate setback marks the transition from social housing to superior housing in private ownership.

© Kim Zwarts
© Kim Zwarts
Ground floor Plan
Ground floor Plan

Depending on the height of the apartments, different types of windows are applied. Lower levels have slim French balconies, oriented to urban street life. Above 30 m in height, the contact with the street disappears and the apartments have larger windows. On the upper levels, floor-to-ceiling windows allow outdoor spaces, despite the impact of the strong wind. Thanks to the almost completely glazed facade, the inhabitants can perfectly enjoy the view. The different types of windows are integrated into the grain of the horizontal and vertical concrete structural elements. Horizontal and vertical lateral parapets in green flamed granite playfully energize the façade.

© Kim Zwarts
© Kim Zwarts
© Kim Zwarts
© Kim Zwarts

In the plinth, the green granite continues and combines with brass window frames. At the top of the residential tower are penthouses and technical equipment. The top of the building is accentuated by an open crown structure that is illuminated at night. With its unique combination of recesses and facade elements, the volume fits perfectly into its environment.

© Kim Zwarts
© Kim Zwarts

The concrete walls of the hallway and the adjoining cross walls together form the stable backbone of the slender volume. The facades of the building are thus freed from their stabilizing effects, contributing to transparency and offering a panoramic view of the roofs of The Hague. The restrictions that had to be observed during the construction process led to extremely punctual construction logistics and the choice of precast concrete façade elements. The typical joints are masked by the plastic and tectonic articulation of the elements. The use of Verde Savanna, a greenish granite from Brazil, harmonizes with the colored additives of the sandblasted concrete elements.

© Kim Zwarts
© Kim Zwarts

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