Stationspostgebouw The Hague
KCAP and Kraaijvanger Architects transformed the Stationspostgebouw, a former postal sorting centre next to the Hollands Spoor train station in The Hague, into a sustainable and social work environment for the 21st century while respecting the original architecture. Renovation of the national monument was commissioned by LIFE, SENS real estate and PostNL, the national postal service and former occupant. In the last century PostNL loaded and unloaded their mail trains here, now the company is stepping into the future at this historic site.
The Stationspostgebouw, designed in 1939 by Chief Government Architect G.C. Bremer, is of great historical, architectural and urban importance. It stands out for its distinctive pale brick facade with curved forms and glass block windows, which conceals high but deep floor areas. Conceived as the most prominent building along the rail, it has always been a landmark for and within the city of The Hague.
KCAP designed the architectural transformation for developers LIFE and SENS real estate, while Kraaijvanger Architects was responsible for the interior design on behalf of PostNL. One of the transformation’s key results is the increased daylight access, achieved by modifying the facade and inserting vides. Because of its status as a monument, however, it was not possible to make major structural changes. An additional challenge was to renovate the building in such a way as to bring back the monumental character. Therefore, the restoration concept focused on the main load-bearing structure, keeping the existing beams and columns intact. Especially since the Stationspostgebouw is one of the first examples of the use of prefab concrete columns in the world.
The Stationspostgebouw also had to meet the most ambitious sustainability requirements. A glass ‘second skin’ on the inside of the building provides an almost invisible layer of insulation. In this way, the monumental facade was preserved, while the building simultaneously met the requirements.
Photography: Ossip van Duivenbode