Architecture students contribute to the De Binckhorst development

04 March 2010 by M&C

On 12 March 2010, some 260 BSc6 students from the Faculty of Architecture will be presenting 28 masterplans for the redevelopment of De Binckhorst, a former industrial site between The Hague and Voorburg.

The plans will be assessed by an expert jury, and a prize will be awarded for the most creative and realistic masterplans. The students’ masterplans will also feature in the future development of De Binckhorst, as it changes from a purely commercial site to a lively urban district.

Development of the De Binckhorst site

In 2007, the city council of The Hague agreed on the ‘Nieuw Binckhorst’ masterplan for De Binckhorst – a former industrial site between The Hague and Voorburg, the same size as The Hague city centre. The intention was to transform what was purely an industrial site into a lively urban district with homes, businesses, social amenities, restaurants, sports facilities and a large park.

The masterplan was the result of a public-private partnership between the city council of The Hague, Rabo Vastgoed and BPF Bouwinvest. As a consequence of the economic crisis and the related change in market circumstances, the highly ambitious ‘Nieuw Binckhorst’ building plan started to look very unrealistic. Moreover, BPF Bouwinvest withdrew from the partnership in 2009, effectively leaving the ‘Nieuw Binckhorst’ masterplan dead in the water.

After the Municipal Executive reconsidered how the De Binckhorst site might be developed, the city council decided to set up an official working party, which was given the task of drawing up a new De Binckhorst masterplan.

Architecture students contributing their ideas for the future of De Binckhorst

In the wake of the review of the redevelopment proposals, students from the Faculty of Architecture are now contributing their ideas for ‘a new future for De Binckhorst’. No fewer than 260 BSc6 students are involved in a management game in which they are making masterplans for De Binckhorst. The various masterplans will be presented by the students on 12 March in front of an expert jury, which will include a Deputy Mayor from The Hague.

The De Binckhorst management game: the simulation of a complex decision-making process

In the management game, a situation is simulated in which the Municipal Executive charge an internal official working party with the task of drawing up a new masterplan for De Binckhorst. Every student is given a substantive role that is based on the perspective of a municipal department. The areas of conflict during the decision-making process – in which a group of actors behave in accordance with their own set of rules – are at the heart of the management game. The weighing up of the various interests, aims and methods of the parties – all in the context of economic and social developments – is very important here. The simulation reveals how complex and layered the decision-making process in relation to an area development masterplan of this size – and which involves such powerful interests – is.

Detailing the De Binckhorst masterplan: realistically positioning De Binckhorst

The result of the management game is a draft masterplan that sets out the preconditions for the further development of the different parts, buildings and open spaces of De Binckhorst. Next, in the domain-specific part of the plan, students focus on the redevelopment of the area and on the best possible positioning of existing and/or future amenities in the context of present and future market demand. One aspect of this is the need for an appropriate urban design. A proper balance has to be found between preservation, improvement and innovation in the redevelopment plan. This applies to existing buildings, urban elements like parks, cemeteries and ports, and to the urban infrastructure, both above and under ground.

De Binckhorst masterplan presentation afternoon

The students will give their final ‘De Binckhorst masterplan’ presentations on 12 March in the Oostserre of the Faculty of Architecture to an expert jury, chaired by ir. Wout van der Toorn Vrijthof. The Deputy Mayor of The Hague whose portfolio includes the redevelopment of De Binckhorst, Peter Smit, will be one of the jury members. A total of 28 masterplans for De Binckhorst will be explained and illustrated during a special programme between 13:30 and 16:30. Prizes will also be awarded for the ‘Most Creative Masterplan’, the ‘Most Realistic Masterplan’, the ‘Most Eye-Catching Poster’ and the ‘Most Balanced and Efficient Group Dynamic’. Drinks will be served at the end of the afternoon.


13.30 uur 

Word of welcome, and opening by Hans Wamelink

14.00 uur 

Masterplan presentations and prizes, with comments from the expert jury

  1. The most eye-catching poster
    Jury: Prof. Hans Wamelink and ir. Christian van Ees
  2. The most balanced and efficient group dynamic
    Jury: Dr Peter Paul van Loon and drs. Ineke Bruil
  3. The most creative masterplan
    Jury: Prof. Wytze Patijn and Prof. Thijs Asselbergs
  4. The most realistic masterplan
    Jury: Deputy Mayor of The Hague and Prof. Friso de Zeeuw

15.00 uur 

Most creative masterplan; question and answer session on future of De Binckhorst

15.30 uur 

Most realistic masterplan; question and answer session on future of De Binckhorst

16.00 uur 

Concluding speech by Wytze Patijn Drinks


For questions and further information:
ir. Wout van der Toorn Vrijthof

+31 (0)15 27 84884

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