The city council of The Hague asked West 8 to design a vision for the public space that carefully integrated several multifunctional real estate developments into a renewed public realm. Kijkduin-Bad will be enriched with more sand and beach grass, creating a ‘Balcony at Sea’, a new lively promenade, and easier and safer traffic flow.
Kijkduin-Bad is located along the Dutch seashore. It is the second seaside resort of The Hague, located about 8 kilometres south of its big brother, Scheveningen. Kijkduin-Bad is a popular family destination, although currently dominated by Asphalt and cars, investment into the public space and capital investments were postponed several times over the last few years. The first outlines of the plans for a revitalization of Kijkduin, were initiated in 2008, are have quickly taken shape. Central to the vision for Kijkduin’s public space is the return of the Dutch dunes landscape, and have created awareness for the proximity to the sea and the traditional Dutch coastal experience.
To reinforce the identity of Kijkduin as a small coastal settlement West 8 emphasized aspects like intimacy, seclusion and shelter in the design. Located along the seaside boulevard, the plans see the existing Atlantic hotel renovated and enlarged (as designed by INBO) and the retail centre completely renewed and extended (designed by KOW). A total of approximately 650 new dwellings were planned for the entire village.
West 8’s vision takes a set of six basic principles into account:
- Kijkduin Bad functions primarily as a dune crossing point that allows comfortable entrance to the beach for all users;
- A height increase of the boulevard to 16,5 meters + N.A.P. (Amsterdam Ordnance Datum) is necessary. The boulevard features a high quality design and should be accessible for everyone;
- Height differences do not cause fragmentation in the area;
- Natural qualities remain intact. The area functions as a natural habitat and ecological connecting zone;
- The public space design solves as many spatial issues in one plan as is possible.
The Balcony at Sea on the Delta Plaza will become the central point of Kijkduin-Bad. The balcony is located on top of the dune between the new shopping area and the Atlantic Hotel. The choice for construction of new dunes was made for two reasons: they naturally solve the height differences in the area and simultaneously connect Kijkduin with the surrounding natural and coastal context. From here, beachgoers can enjoy themselves along a 250 meter stretching promenade complete with restaurants and terraces.
The main entrance route to Kijkduin, the Kijkduinsestraat, was designed as a gateway towards the sea, while the existing Deltastraat is part of the coastal green belt and will be adorned with sand and beach grass. Several passageways of the plan would connect the courtyards inside the new shopping area with the Delta Square and the Boulevard. With the streamlining of the infrastructure, new spaces would be created for improvements to the long-distance cycle route along the Dutch coast. The vision for Kijkduin-Bad fits seamlessly with the ‘Healthy Coast’, the investment program for Scheveningen-Bad region.
With a series of solutions, West 8’s vision unified these principles into one clear outlook for the coastal town, in which buildings and public space are well-integrated.