Westbroekpark, Den Haag
52.103451025655, 4.290435236918 View on map
A closer look reveals a former bunker under the peaceful-looking hill at the edge of the rosary. And whoever climbs the inconspicuous stairs to the roof will be even more surprised. Half hidden between the treetops, on the edge, stands a monumental bench, which is mainly used by lovers and young people. From there, they stare out over the park.
The original bench stood on the small hill at the corner of the Cremerweg and the Wagenaarweg. The bench was donated in 1929 by the 'Committee for the Establishment of a Westbroek Bench' and was intended as a monument in memory of the 'Director of Public Gardens' and designer of the park, Pieter Westbroek, who died in 1926. Due to its semicircular shape, the bench offered a view of the park on three sides. Unfortunately, the monument had fallen into disrepair during the Second World War and in the years that followed, and moreover the view of the park was obstructed. Hence, it was repaired and moved.
The designer of the bank was the architect Dirk Roosenburg. In addition to monuments, he also designed remarkable buildings and houses. For example, the brick 'Villa Windekind' is located near the park on Nieuwe Parklaan. A little further along the Raamweg, the former KLM building - now the Ministry of Transport and Public Works - rises with its striking semicircular glass extension. In addition, as government architect and advisor, Roosenburg played an important role in 20th-century urban development.
Roosenburg grew up in The Hague. After his studies in Delft, he travelled extensively and worked for Berlage, among others. Partly due to Berlage's influence, Roosenburg has always been an advocate of honest, functional building and had a love of steel and brick. His 'Westbroekbank' is a striking example of his vision in the choice of materials and design.