The population of The Hague will grow considerably in the next twenty years from 525,000 residents to over 625,000. To meet this challenge, the municipality is encouraging inner-city densification within the Central Innovation District (CID), a triangular area bound by the city’s three train stations. Densification will begin in three priority zones within the CID. These zones are clustered around the train stations, in accordance with the guidelines presented in the city’s 2018 high-rise report “Eyeline Skyline”.
The Grace is being realised at Rijswijkseweg near the city centre and overlooks the Trekvliet canal, which will be transformed into a waterfront park for pedestrians and cyclists in the coming years. The Velostrada bicycle highway is also being built, and will connect The Hague with the surrounding municipalities. The Grace links the Binckhorst and Laakhavens neighbourhoods with the city-centre, and its combination of living and working spaces connects (starting) entrepreneurs with residents.
The residential concept is based on the growing demand for affordable housing and fostering a sense of community. With over 1500 social, medium and free-sector rental properties and a wide range of communal facilities, The Grace addresses this need. The iconic two-tower ensemble, one reaching 150 meters and the other 180 meters, sits on a seven-storey plinth.
The buildings form a harmonious composition with subtle variations in open and closed facade elements, transparent and solid corners, materialisation and colour. Residents can enjoy a view of the city and, beyond that, of the sea. The plinth features commercial functions, a restaurant and offices on the ground floor, while its upper levels contain housing, offices and communal facilities. Arcades on either side of the complex offer protection against wind and rain, and create sheltered places for restaurant customers and shoppers.
The plinth opens to the Schipperskwartier neighbourhood and the new Trekvlietpark in the form of a raised green roof garden that offers space to the resident community for all kinds of activities. A transparent lobby forms the lively heart of the complex. It offers work and gathering areas for residents, a reception desk for visitors, and an overview of the activities in the surrounding co-working spaces.
The lobby is, in fact, an extended home. Here, you can meet each other, or find a place to work or study. The community is further enhanced by shared courtyards and roof gardens, a communal kitchen, sports facilities, and a movie theatre. In addition, the building supports an emerging sustainable subculture, providing residents with shared bicycles and electric cars. The Grace offers attractive communal facilities that connect residents, making it a unique place to live.