Staal, groen en water
Aegonplein, Den Haag
52.091102356865, 4.3684169552948 View on map
What do you do when the square in front of your head office is deteriorating? Aegon opted for the flight to the front. In 1985, this insurer had established itself on what was then the Mariahoeve Square next to the station of the same name. Over ten years later, the company asked the Municipality of The Hague for permission to rename the square Aegonplein. In exchange, the insurer would have the square renovated at its own expense and maintained for twenty years. Although the municipality rarely grants permission for a name change, Aegon held an international competition in 1996 for a new design for the square. The world-famous Rotterdam-based urban design and landscape architecture firm West 8 won first prize. After the municipality granted permission for the name change in 1999, they realised their design in 2001.
West 8 was founded in 1987 by landscape architect Adriaan Geuze and from the outset has supplied designs at an international level for complex and large-scale urban issues, landscape interventions and waterfronts, parks and squares. For example, the Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam. Their approach has always been interdisciplinary. With their designs, West 8 simultaneously addresses contemporary issues such as climate change, urbanisation and infrastructure.
Their 'Waterfollie' for the Aegonplein is also such a large-scale design. In the open space between the station, offices and the Mariahoeve housing estate, the design bureau came up with seven structures, six of which would, over the course of time, become overgrown with ivy and honeysuckle. In this way, they brought more green into a rather stony environment. Moreover, the foils immediately give structure to the square. A particularly lively element is the curtain of water that comes out of the foil in the middle of the square, directly opposite the entrance to the station. An undulating grid in the ground catches the water. Red light gives the water an extra special effect in the evening.