Artist:Failed Architecture
Date + Time: 28 September - 14:00 - 16:00
Location: binnenlandse zaken - first floor
Website: http://failedarchitecture.com/events/fa12-ministerie-van-binnenlandse-zaken/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/failedarchitecture
Twitter: http://twitter.com/failedarch


Failed Architecture unveils some of the former ministry’s hidden secrets and unique qualities through a program of lectures, tours and contributions from architects, employees, residents and artists with direct connections to the building.

Failed Architecture is a research platform that aims to open up new perspectives on urban failure – from what it’s perceived to be, what’s actually happening and how it’s represented to the public.

In their appearance the twin towers of the former ministries of the interior and justice are overwhelming, to say the least. These concrete giants self-assuredly dominated The Hague’s skyline for more than two decades. Dwarfed by nearby developments and left vacant by the civil servants who used to work here, the towers will very soon be redeveloped to an unrecognizable extent. Failed Architecture will unveil some of the buildings’ hidden secrets and unique qualities.

The construction history of the ministries should be seen in the light of post-war ideas on the comprehensive redevelopment of dilapidated inner city areas. In the late-1950s it was decided that the Spuikwartier, a densely built-up area of tenement houses and small workplaces, was to be demolished to make way for an inner city expressway and shiny new office blocks. After several plans by the infamous developer Reinder Zwolsman were cancelled, a design assignment for the two ministries was given to the architectural firm of Lucas and Niemeijer. They decided to construct the building using the revolutionary Jackblock system, in which prefabricated floors are elevated by hydraulic jackscrews one by one. An urban planner and architect will enlighten us on this fascinating history,
which will be enlivened by several contemporary models, plans and photos.

Not only do the ministries house an enormous nuclear fallout shelter, for some years it was also home to the National Crisis Centre. This top-secret facility, equipped with a Dr. Strangelove-style war room and soundproof chambers, was put to use in the case of a national disaster or terrorist threat. The architect responsible for the Centre’s design will guide us on a unique tour, accompanied by the former building manager – who literally knows every nook and cranny.

Program (please note: only the first guided tour will be in English, the rest of the program will be in Dutch):
12:30 – Guided tour through the Spuikwartier with Arjen van der Burg (in English). Van der Burg worked as a city planner for the city of The Hague from 1975 until 1989.
14:00 – Conversation with architect Bart Jan Lucas and elderman Ruud Smeets, lead by Tim Verlaan (in Dutch).
15:00 – Start first guided tour (in Dutch) with caretaker Thomas Kleynen and architect Jannis Cappon (max. 20 participants)
16:00 – Start second guided tour (in Dutch) with caretaker Thomas Kleynen and architect Jannis Cappon (max. 20 participants)

More info + registration: http://failedarchitecture.com/events/fa12-ministerie-van-binnenlandse-zaken
If you'd like to participate in one of the guided tours, please send an e-mail to: tim@failedarchitecture.com


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