Spui 70, The Netherlands
images / Romeo
With its gigantic glass atrium, white metal walls, the city hall of The Hague is nicknamed the Ice Palace.
Designed by the American architect Richard Meier in 1986, who is known for his light structures and use of white materials.
With this city hall Meier designed a part of the center of The Hague as well, incorporating stores and offices but also housing the public library in a cylinder shaped part of the building. On the side of the old city center he placed the huge glass facade which visually connects the new building with the historic city center, allowing people to look in and out. The building has a total surface 120.000 m² and has the largest atrium in Europe, 45 meters high and 40 meters in width. The floors are connected with open bridges that run from one side to the other of the open glass space.
What most impresses us is the openness of the structure. The extensive use of windows, glass and white wire mesh allows you to see right through everything. Going up to the eleventh floor and enjoying a view that goes beyond the building with it’s glass façade and roof was truly spectacular. When it is sunny, the light comes in from all sides and reflects on the glass elements creating shadows and light beams everywhere, as if you were inside of a crystal. If you ever find yourself near The Hague, make sure to stop by their city hall to experience this piece of architecture.