It was actually slated for demolition, but it was impossible to imagine The Hague’s skyline without this triangular tower. The yellow fellow has now been brought back to life with sophisticated renovation and expansion plans.
„We built a completely new, load-bearing façade around the existing building.“ - Do Tetteroo, Client.
Triangular tower in The Hague
Twenty storeys high with a triangular floor plan and a façade made of pale yellow glazed bricks: built in 1967, the Toren van Oud is a distinctive feature of The Hague’s skyline. This slim tower on the Dutch coast stands amongst congress centres, museums, office buildings and public green spaces and shapes the urban landscape.
It originally served as accommodation for conference visitors and also concealed the chimneys of the conference centre’s own power station. However, over the years, successive owners found it difficult to find uses for the tower and it was finally earmarked for demolition. In 2013, the building owner Do Tetteroo took on the project with a design team and developed a viable utilisation plan, not least to keep the skyline made famous by so many postcards unchanged.
New floor plan, traditional proportions
The yellow tower was finished in 2020. Part of it houses fully furnished, short-let apartments and another part is home to service providers. Two extra stories were added and now serve as penthouse apartments with fantastic views. “We built a completely new, load-bearing façade around the existing building”, explains Do Tetteroo. “The characteristic yellow pattern of the façade was retained: horizontal stripes of glazed brick alternating with strips of windows in slim metal frames”.
The colours are based on the Hague variant developed by architect Bob Oud on the basis of De Stijl primary colours: the blue of the sea and the yellow of the dunes translated into glazed bricks. “The combination of materials is very special: metal, concrete and glazed bricks”, says the architect responsible for the refurbished building, Dennis Hofman
Searching for the original
It was important for the design team to keep the original look. “The tower is not a monument”, says Tetteroo, “but if you want to preserve the look, the original condition of the building is the best starting point”. The original parapets proved to be invaluable when searching for a new facing brick. However, a great deal of research was required to find out about the masonry bond, brick formats and raw materials previously used, as well as the original colouring.
The original façade bricks were simple, red bricks with a pale yellow glaze applied subsequently. Brand-new yellow bricks, sawn into strips are now used. The surface has the same rugged texture as the original hand-finished bricks and exactly the same colour glaze: a soft, shiny yellow. “I’m very satisfied”, says Do Tetteroo. “Our many hours of research produced a wonderful result. Numerous people have put a huge amount of effort into this project and it is clearly visible in the end result”.
Facts & Figures
Project name: Toren van Oud, The Hague, The Netherlands
Architecture Bos Hofman Architektenkombinatie, Dennis Hofman and Archipelontwerpers, Eric Vreedenburgh