THE HAGUE – The Hague’s concert hall Paard van Troje, or Trojan Horse, underwent a refurbishment last summer to celebrate its 40 years.

As the needs of the public changed over the last 10 years since its previous renovation by OMA Rem Koolhaas, it was time for a makeover. Two Dutch architecture studios based in The Hague, studio Barbara Vos and studio TILIA,  were in charge of the design of the new foyer. The program required the creation of a comfortable bar and lounge area where people can relax next to the two existing stages.

While having changed the functions of several elements of the previous design – the space previously occupied by the cloak room is now the Bar, for instance – one of the strategies employed by the architects was that of emphasizing the strong elements of the venue’s original design. As the architects explain, ‘the concrete construction has been painted in a light colour, non load bearing walls were clad in untreated birchwood and the floor was poured in a rough brown composite’. The foyer’s comfortable atmosphere and industrial look that make this space ‘the public living room’ of The Hague, Netherlands, is accentuated by the cables that run over the weathered, rough walls and the applied LED-lighting, which can be changed according to the nights’ atmosphere.
Another interesting feature of this project is that it was financed through crowd-funding. According to the architects, ‘through buying a share, the public could not only participate in the refurbishment but could also become a permanent part of that refurbishment.’ The name of all sponsors was printed in the glass surrounding the bar and the smoking room’s glazing showcases lyrics of The Hague’s famous band DI-RECT, who bought this entire space.

Images courtesy of Stijnstijl Photography