Renovation Binnenhof-approach

The Binnenhof complex in The Hague is home to the Dutch Senate, House of Representatives, Council of State, and Ministry of General Affairs. The complex, a centuries-old monument that is still constantly ‘in service’, is owned by the Central Government Real Estate Agency. After a period of intensive use, the Binnenhof complex is now plagued by a wide variety of technical and structural defects. Large-scale renovation will be required to ensure the safety of visitors to the complex and an improvement in the working conditions of those who work there. Last, but not least, the renovation is crucial to the long-term maintenance of a significant part of our cultural heritage.

Binnenhof is the home of Dutch parliamentary democracy. And it’s open for everyone to visit.

This unique complex of buildings has expanded and been adapted over the centuries. Now we need to renovate it once again, because its structure and technology require some serious improvements.

If it has to be renovated, it has to be renovated. Otherwise, we’ll lose it for ever.

Judging by what I’ve read in the papers, it’s high time they did something about it.

I can’t imagine it will need to be closed down for many years, or that the renovation will be that expensive.

As business owners on Lange Poten, we’re very worried the reconstruction will have a very negative influence on our business.

Binnenhof leaks, the roofs are in bad shape, the walls are cracked, the cellars are regularly flooded, the technical infrastructure is outdated, and the cable ducts are full to overflowing.

Politicians and civil servants work here. Also, large numbers of tourists visit every day.
We really need to renovate now, so these people can continue doing their jobs and the tourists can keep coming.

We’re going to renovate the entire Binnenhof, all sections of the complex in one go. It’s a huge project. We have to renew all the roofs, for example, an area about the size of five football pitches.

At peak times, there’ll be about 750 construction workers here.

We’re going to start the renovation in 2020, and the project will be finished in 2025.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to do it without causing some local inconvenience. This will mostly be caused by the delivery and removal of materials, and by construction noise. The noise may not be too bad, because a lot of the work will take place inside the complex, and we’ll aim to limit it as much as possible.

The surrounding areas, such as Lange Poten and Plein, will remain accessible.

Until work starts in the summer of 2020, nothing will change. Binnenhof will remain in full operation, members of parliament will continue to meet here, and visitors will still be welcome.

Together with the Central Government Real Estate Agency, the city council, ProDemos and local residents, we’re aiming to make it as easy as possible to visit Binnenhof during the renovations.

One suggestion is to build a bridge over it so visitors will have a unique bird’s-eye view of the complex. Another idea is a hard-hat tour, a fun and exciting way to view these beautiful historical buildings while the work is in progress.

The construction workers will be good for us, of course, because they’ll need to eat!

I’m confident that the project will work out fine. Sure, why not? I assume there’s a proper plan, and it will be implemented accordingly.

So we’re all moving out in the summer of 2020, but hopefully we’ll be back as soon as possible!