Local Heart, Global Soul

February 20, 2013

A Little Bit of France in the Haagse Bluf…

Following  yesterday’s post about the Haagse Bluf buildings,  here is a photographic post about the two fountains that can be found there. The only fact that I know about then is that they are original French fountains… and on a personal level … I think they are beautiful.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 19, 2013

How to Be Original … and Fake at the Same Time!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Shopping arcade in the centre of the Hague known as “de Haagse Bluf” is a rather unique feature of the Hague.

It’s basically a small and almost enclosed “Plein” (square) or courtyard reached by narrow pedestrian streets or shopping arcades.
So, we have  shopping streets and arcades of shops leading to a square that contains more shops: ok, nothing dramatic or out of the ordinary so far.

However, what’s really unique about the Haagse Bluf is less the shops it contains and more the strange juxtaposition of the buildings they are housed in. The inner Plein buildings certainly make people do a double take. Old very traditional Dutch building façades have been not so subtly incorporated into very new building forms.

It’s a very odd mix of old and new architecture fused together and most people probably assume that the architect just sketched in some Dutch traditional character features into their fake frontages. Wrong: some of these frontages are exact replicas of actual buildings elsewhere, many of the originals are still standing, but several have been demolished in years past.

That said, these demolished buildings did not completely disappear: much of their stone ornamentation was saved and re-incorporated into these replicated façades, which now begs the question: does this mean the façade made in the Haagse Bluf is fake or original or a bizarre mixture of both?

Wikipedia (Dutch language text only) tells me that one of the façades is a copy of the “Het Pagehuis” (The Page House) which dates from the beginning of the 17th Century and it still stands facing the Binnenhof at it’s address of Lang Voorhout 6.

One façade is a copy from a building on the Denneweg, dating from 1898 and another façade (Kaldi Coffee and Tea company) comes from a building located at Markt 4 in Delft within metres of the Delft Stadhuis.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The foundations of the house in Delft date from the 13th century but the original building was destroyed and then rebuilt after a city fire in 1536, added to in 1760 when it was used as retail storage space, complete with “hijsbalk” (cantilever or lifting beam) as explained in one of my earlier blog posts.

By chance I happen to have a photo of  (part of) the original building in Delft in my photo archive to show you as well.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I’m nowhere near an instant fan of modern architecture.

I therefore surprised myself that I completely and totally love the buildings here in the Haagse Bluff, despite the fact that no effort has been made to cover that fact the the façades are attachments to modernist cube-form buildings.

Logical says it shouldn’t work, but reality is that it does! The two fuse together brilliantly and it’s wonderful to see a total renovation of part of the city centre pay homage to local historical past.

I used the Haagse Bluf website to figure out the identities of some of the buildings: the first photo in this post originates from Noordeinde 17 in The Hague, the second building is completely from the original building  that stood at Hooftkade 195 because the entire façade was saved and bought here when the building was demolished. It dates from 1889 and was formerly a distillery of the firm WFGL Spanish.

http://www.haagschebluf.com/ (Dutch language text)

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haagsche_Bluf (Dutch language text )
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagehuis_(Den_Haag) (Dutch language text)
http://historie.hdpnet.nl/pleinen.htm (Dutch language text)
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/new-327/ “When the Stairs are too Narrow, the Dutch just Open a Window…”

The Nickelson building in the photo below is a replica of Noordeinde 6 (which still stands as a commercial premises) but was formerly a store-house from 1901 built in a Viennese Secession and Gothic inspired style.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next photos show a replica of the Denneweg 56: a former showroom in 1898 of the foundry E. Beekman, designed by Jan-Willem Bosboom, is an early example of Hague iron and glass architecture. The building at the Denneweg  is considered one of the main exponents of Art Nouveau in The Hague.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is a replica of the Denneweg 4, built in 1870.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I took this photo from the wrong angle, not knowing when I made this photo that it’s a replica of Markt 4 in Delft. Ironically I have half of this red brick building in a photo in my Delft photo archive because I was photographing the building next to it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The original of Markt 4  in Delft, below  (building on the right.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Genuinely old building close to the Haagse Bluf…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Street leading into the Haagse Bluf…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Decorations in the shopping arcade…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The original “Het Pagehuis” …stands not too far away…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and the replica (almost… this building is narrower so they seem to have made some adjustments)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself, who is usually fairly neutral and certainly not emotional about buildings said with a big sigh of relief “thank heavens it’s not just boring flat cold block walls”.

The Haagse Bluff has this effect on people: it doesn’t ignore that people live in the modern world but it does work aesthetically around it. I personally think these buildings are inspired, giving them a sense of history in their façades gave them soul, and who wouldn’t want to embrace a place that has soul?

September 17, 2011

Haagse Hogeschool, Let’s take a Walk Around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This post  features yet more photos from my archive stock, and is an extension of my yesterday’s post.

Last year I walked around the outside of the Haagse Hogeschool, taking photos and marvelling at what they have achieved in the redevelopment of this area.

Ok, I didn’t walk the entire complex, but did do a circuit of the  inner part of the Leeghwaterkade  to see the transformation that has taken place here in recent years.

I was surprised to see just how many new apartments they have managed to build here, along the Waldorpstraat side of the complex there is an entire block of new apartments, with cafés and a few businesses benieth, and on the Rijswijksweg  side there are (I think  independently  built and not associated with the school) four large luxury tower apartments.

The main complex of the Haagse Hogeschool is on the Stamkartstraat/Leeghwaterplein side, and I like that they have kept the original waterways, rather than just filling them in and used bridges to make walking around the site easier.

I did wonder about what the round tower-like structures in the water were, so investigated further and found that there were outer doors that opened up to reveal lift doors. Clearly the only was was “down”  so I’m assuming that these are probably the exits of an underground car park.

There are ornamental platforms in the water, but for whatever reason, a few of the birds have opted to build their nests floating on the water rather than to take advantage of the ready-made platforms. … then again it’s probably safer that other birds can’t  find a easy landing spot to steal the eggs.

Join me on a virtual tour…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 16, 2011

Finally, Someone is Thinking Outside the Box!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is a photo taken from my archive files, where I aim to show you to various places and landmarks around my city and Province.

This one needs only a simple explanation:  the building has become a local landmark and it stands on the Leeghwaterplein (near the corner of Cruquiuskade) a short distance away from Hollandspoor Station, one of the two biggest train stations in The Hague.

It’s there because it’s almost directly next to the Haagse Hogeschool, a relatively new polytechnic facility that was part of the urban redevelopment project of a former light industrial area at the rear of the train station, … this building belongs to Stichting DUWO. (DUWO Foundation)

The DUWO is a Foundation that manages some 17.000 temporary homes for local and international students in and around Amsterdam, Delft, The Hague and Leiden.

Stichting DUWO was set up to provide affordable accommodation to registered students earning less than Euro 1.300,- per month whilst they study, but require that students leave their accommodation within six months of completing their studies.

The building itself is compact and at first glance appears to be standing alone, but if you look carefully you’ll see that it’s joined on the lower levels to the pinkish building on the right hand side of the photo.

I like this building, how easy it might have been to have made a boring box-like structure…  too often today architecture is just plain boring and ugly.

I love that when building this one, they really did “think outside the box”.

August 15, 2011

Haags Historisch Museum, one of the lesser known Dutch Masterpieces…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The silver lining to being largely  immobile and sitting going though all the masses of photographs on my hard drive is that I now suddenly discover photos that were in a folder that was mislabeled, and that I had completely forgotten about.

A flyer come around in the post at work one day  for an organised lunchtime tour of the  Haags Historisch Museum so I signed up, but also took the afternoon off so that I could wander around the centre of the city as well.

The museum is located at Korte Vijverberg No.7  and sits on the corner of the Hofvijver, just down the street from the Mauritshuis.

No… Summer hasn’t ended abruptly here in The Netherlands (but with the rainy lack-of-Summer going on at the moment you might be forgiven for thinking so), These photos were taken in the autumn of 2009.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I like the Haags Historisch Museum  because it sits very quietly in the shadow of the massively famous Mauritshuis and houses paintings and treasures that the masses of tourists usually miss. It’s a beautiful building and the atmosphere inside is calm and serene, unhurried and you can take your time and not be jostled by tour parties of 55  weary bodies on a schedule.

I couldn’t take photographs inside the museum and more’s the pity, not only are the artworks amazing, the building itself is centuries old and is stunning inside too.

Even the outside of the building is impressive, but it’s hard to get a photo with the limited space of the narrow street that backs onto the Hofvijver and between the trees that line the narrow street.

The views of the old parliament outside the deeply set paneled windows of the museum were also a picture today… but more on that later.

If you are ever in the Hague and museums are your thing then I can highly recommend this one. Whichever exhibition is on, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, the Dutch are quite literally Old Masters when it comes to the culture of art.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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