On the first floor of the most beautiful city hall in The Netherlands, designed by the fantastic Richard Meier, there is an open corridor facing the gigantic atrium in the building. The long stretching corridor-balcony is lined with fifteen marble benches. Specially designed for this narrow space by Fortuin/O’brien in 1995. The installation of benches are clean versions of a chaise long, each bench has a couple of marble round “cushions” that differ in color and veining and are arranged differently on each bench. Repetitive and at the same time random.
The choice of marble as a material turns them into monumental objects, chic seats often to be found in the gardens of palaces. Very appropriate for the city of Den Haag (The Hague), home to the royal family, the government and all international embassies. But also very much in line with the work of Fortuyn/O’brien, who have since the mid 80s focused on many garden and park objects that are functional as well as being autonomous sculptures and installations.
This corridor is actually the waiting room for visitors of social services. It is often people who need government support who wait here. I love that the city of The Hague receives their citizens in need on marble royal benches.
Tax money well spent if you ask me.