Refurbishment of the Grote Marktstraat, The Hague
In 2007 we were selected to transform the Grote Marktstraat in The Hague into
“a shopping boulevard with international allure”.
The Grote Marktstraat is situated in one of the prime retail areas in the city centre. It boasts large upmarket department stores for example the Bijenkorf and Marks & Spencer. More than seven million visitors make use of the Grote Marktstraat each year. With its unique history in mind we have created a design for the street that specifically belongs to the city of The Hague. In this design the Grote Marktstraat has been transformed into an open-air ballroom for the city; richly decorated in innovative materials and accentuated with unique lighting elements; the crown jewels.
A runner of Terrazzo
The street has been cleared of all obstacles and a richly decorated runner of polished terrazzo-look paving has been introduced. The paving is finished with a specially designed pattern etched into its surface that refers to lacework of the Royal Court. The smooth and continuous surface radiates with the flamboyance and luxury of a ballroom floor.
Besides being a main pedestrian boulevard, the Grote Marktstraat is also part of the main cycle routing in The Hague. To avoid collisions between these two users the cycle path has been well defined, slightly recessed in the runner with clearly visible edges. The cycle path is positioned asymmetrically, on the shaded side of the street, leaving a wide area over for pedestrians to stroll along in the midday sun.
Large urban couches
As part of the ballroom, the original balustrades leading to the tram tunnel below have been replaced with large urban couches. These couches are fabricated from rolled, perforated, metal sheets. The perforated pattern in the couches refers to the rich decorations and textures of the clothing of the early Dutch Royal Court. Rubbish bins have been incorporated as an integral part of the urban couches.
Street and decorative lighting.
Sixty chandeliers hang between the buildings over the full length of the street. They give structure and direction to the space and accentuate the scale of the buildings. The chandeliers are designed as droplet form, wire frames housing a range of lighting armatures. The functional street lighting armature is situated at the base of the frame. Sixteen RGB LED light-points are divided over three levels within the frame. These illuminate the chandeliers evenly from within. All lighting components has been carefully integrated into the frame in waterproof armatures. There are no cables or connectors visible.
Each individual LED point in the chandeliers is registered in a central computer system. The colour and intensity and the speed at which the colours can change in each LED point can be programmed. Together these LED points form a dynamic 3D light sculpture over the full length of the street. In collaboration with light architect, Har Holland, we have designed a range of light scenario’s that respond to the mood of the city, public holidays and festivals, special moments in the year and the seasons.