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Raw Glistening

Located in the middle of the city centre, The Hague’s very own Trojan horse, Paard van Troje has undergone a make over courtesy of Studio Barbara Vos and studio TILIA. 

By Cassandra Pizzey / 14-03-2013

Bare walls, LED lighting and birch wood, three contrasting elements which work well together in the new foyer of Paard van Troje. Parting with the large open space it was before, now the area serves as a living room to this musical part of the city.

After a refurbishment some ten years ago courtesy of OMA architects, now club goers' needs have changed. The now inviting foyer offers visitors a place to chat, sit and smoke – thanks to the crowd-funded smoking area acquired in full by The Hague band DI-RECT. spoke with Barbara Vos and Marlies van der Linden of studio TILIA about the project. 

Could you describe the space to us, what was it like before and what purpose does it serve now?
“The foyer was a large space full of separate elements that had no connection with each other, not an inviting place to hang around and have a chat or a drink. With the new design we transformed it into a space that is actually inviting, where you can sit and have a beer and a chat.”

And what about the layout? Has it changed?
“The old wardrobe area made room for a small bar that forms the centre of the new foyer. Now, in addition to the two upstairs stages, small bands and djs can perform in the foyer. It’s become a third area.”

Before, the area was rather empty, where did you draw inspiration from?
“Our project was named 'Ruwe Schittering', which in English means ‘Raw Glistening’. Old industrial materials and the remains of the monumental building are combined with new smooth materials to emphasize the contrast.”

A number of areas were refurbished by OMA some ten years ago, how did that influence your choice of materials?
“We chose light colored oak benches and warm coloured floors to create the feeling of a cozy living room. The wooden walls we clad with beautiful light coloured birch wood. To emphasize the influence of the coloured light, we used light colours and materials as a basis. The light is adaptable to the atmosphere of the evening.”

“The wood and warm colours form a nice contrast to the existing robustness of the design with its strong elements such as the concrete columns, rough walls and constructional wood paneling. To accentuate the industrial and strong basis of the original design of OMA we removed all the loose elements and brought back a ceiling clad with perforated metal plates, which also provide a good acoustic atmosphere.”

You only had four months to complete this project, that must have been challenging.
“Yes, we created, shaped and materialized all the designs for the foyer including the furniture. Working together as a design team and guiding the project was the best part though.”

What feeling should visitors to the new foyer get?
“They should feel welcome and at home, not have the feeling they have to leave soon and hurry to the music stages. Hopefully people will hang around, listen to music, have a snack and just take a break from the performances. Most of all they should enjoy a night full of music and friends!”

All images by Stijnstijl

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