A former industrial area in The Hague is to be transformed into a residential district with 9,000 homes and city officials have just published their vision for the new development.

Laakhavens is a former urban port area adjacent to the main railway line and the Hollands Spoor station, which was once part of a bustling inland waterway network. With its factories and warehousing largely abandoned, the area is now about to be turned into a new urban district with a mixture of housing, retail, and other amenities.

The Hague city council has now put its design plans for the area out to public consultation, with work expected to start on the first project in 2025.

Older buildings considered to be part of the city’s industrial heritage will be repurposed and the design for the new development includes a series of apartment blocks which, at between 150 and 180 metres high, will be the tallest in the city. The waterfront will also be transformed with new housing, according to city council plans, which go into great detail about the design elements, from the use of traditional brickwork to the skyline.

“I have always said that if you want to add tens of thousands of homes to a city, then you have to do it properly,” city development chief Robert van Asten told the AD newspaper. “So we are going to get it right in one go.”

The plan not only includes a focus on striking architecture, but also on the outdoor spaces. “We have to make sure all these people live in a pleasant place,” Van Asten said. The project includes a large park on top of an underground car park which will be partly funded by €40 million from the national government. 

The aim is to ensure 55% of the area is either green or water, 25% is built up and 20% is paved or devoted to roads and footpaths. 

The Laakhavens neighbourhood forms part of the Central Innovation District, a project to redevelop large parts of the city between the three main railway stations. In total, 20,500 new homes will be built in the CID.

Artist’s impression: Gemeente Den Haag