Work has started on the construction of the Grotius Towers in The Hague. At the currently undeveloped Grotiusplaats, developer Provast is creating two residential towers together with MVRDV: Grotius I and Grotius II. The location is underused in spite of its importance as a link between the station area, the Bezuidenhout and the Beatrix Quarter. In MVRDV’s design, the highway next to the Grotiusplaats is lowered, covered, and transformed into a beautiful park. The arrival of the two residential towers is the first step in a large-scale transformation of the station area into a lively city district.
The footprint of the towers is the result of an intensive study into the optimal lines of sight and connections with the environment. Grotius I is narrow, 120 metres tall, and forms a boundary along the Utrechtsebaan. The building has enough space on both sides to create routes to the Beatrix Quarter, The Hague’s Central Business District. Standing 100 metres tall, Grotius II is more compact and is located next to the Prince Bernard Viaduct. With its open southern exposure and plentiful sunlight, a lively area with restaurants and terraces will be created there. "The Hague only has a small number of open spaces to be built upon. By covering the Utrechtsebaan and removing the noise and car fumes, homes can be added to the centre of the city”, says architect and co-founder of MVRDV Winy Maas.
The towers are constructed as ‘typical’ Hague towers, according to the high-rise vision developed by the municipality of The Hague and adopted in 2016: High-rise from The Hague: Eyeline and Skyline. The towers will be recognizable from afar thanks to their crowning feature, a three-dimensional landscape of terraces and greenery, with a design based on the orientation of the sun and the view of the city centre and the sea. “The two towers are, as it were, ‘broken’ to create a series of roof terraces, which together form a human neighbourhood,” says Maas. “You can pass coffee or tea to the neighbours, so to speak. Residents will soon have fantastic views from the tenth floor over the sea to the north and Rotterdam to the south. The Grotius Towers represent a makeover of the station quarter.”
The middle part of each tower has a high-quality natural stone façade with large windows to give residents an optimal view of the city. The colour of the stone gradually shifts over the lower layers from a fresh beige shade to a darker, anthracite shade, so that the towers "land softly" at street level. This soft landing forms the "basis" of the towers. This is an excellent opportunity to densify the city, breathing new life into an underused neighbourhood with towers that will change the skyline of The Hague. The Grotius Towers will soon have 655 high-quality apartments, partly social housing, with restaurants and cafés in the plinth and an underground parking garage. With the Grotius Towers, Provast and MVRDV continue their successful collaboration – a partnership that started with the Markthal, which when it opened in 2014 not only became an important tourist attraction, but also brought a major metamorphosis for the neighbourhood around Rotterdam Blaak station. The completion of the Grotius Towers is expected in 2022.