Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs - The Hague

Rijksgebouwendienst / Projectbureau Jubi
Project location:
Turfmarkt, Den Haag
2002 - 2013
130.000 m2 Office and commercial spaces

The pro­ject orig­i­nat­ed from an in­ter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion held in 2002. The pair of tow­ers rise up from a block that opens to­wards the pedes­tri­an street called Turf­markt with a cour d’hon­neur cum gar­den. With their 36 floors stand­ing 150 meters tall, the min­istries’ tow­ers stand out in the ur­ban con­text with pi­laster-​fa­cades of brick (for the Min­istry of the In­te­ri­or) and gran­ite (for the Min­istry of Jus­tice). The grey-​green gran­ite cladding of the base, made up of four-centimeter thick sand­blast­ed slabs, is fixed to the bear­ing wall via con­ven­tion­al stain­less steel an­chors with ther­mal in­su­la­tion in be­tween. At the cor­ners of the ground floor, thick­er slabs with an L-​shaped sec­tion have been used sup­port­ed by steel con­soles. 

This ef­fec­tive­ly emphasizes the ex­pres­sion of sta­bil­i­ty, which is al­so the in­ten­tion of the bush hammered plinth. The rather flat fa­cade of the first two floors over­looks the street with wide open­ings and con­nects to the ground with a curved pro­file, while ter­mi­nat­ing in a fine stringcourse. The dis­play win­dows of the shop fronts are framed with brass-colored aluminum pro­files. The fa­cade of the sec­ond to the fourth floors cul­mi­nates in a high main cor­nice, which ac­cen­tu­ates the build­ing’s gran­ite base and the com­mon func­tions of the min­istries. Here, the same box win­dows that are po­si­tioned be­tween the pil­lars in the tow­ers above are used as sep­a­rate open­ings. The dou­ble win­dows al­low for nat­u­ral hand-​ad­justable ven­ti­la­tion through­out the build­ing. Made with pre­fab the tow­ers’ fa­cades are ar­tic­u­lat­ed with pi­lasters that, clad in the same pol­ished green gran­ite of the base, break past the top edge of the wall and ter­mi­nate in a crown. The joints be­tween the el­e­ments dis­ap­pear be­hind the over­lap­ping pan­els, be­com­ing in­vis­i­ble when viewed head-​on. 

Cut in­to the block, the steeply an­gled atri­um has a main glazed front that gives on­to the gar­den with re­volv­ing doors and brass-​coloured alu­mini­um pro­files. The gar­den is en­closed by a gran­ite bench that pro­trudes from the build­ing’s plinth. This bench sup­ports a fence made of or­na­men­tal­ly treat­ed square posts and curved rect­an­gu­lar steel pro­files coat­ed with a bright an­thracite color. The tips are lac­quered in gold.