On April 3rd the Royal Palace organized an architecture symposium in Paleis Noordeinde in The Hague. The guest of honor, Jacques Herzog presented his work. About 150 architects attended the event that was hosted by the Queen. Clearly not everybody Googled for the proper attire; it is amazing to see how many definitions there seem to be in our profession of Tenue de Ville.
The evening was animated and the debate after dinner surprisingly explosive. Some of the questions could be understood as offensive and sparked a fiery reaction. It almost felt staged. A relevant question came from Rudy Fuchs who compared the stadium in Beijing to Damien’s Diamond Skull and rightly wondered how to go on from here.
But why would Herzog & de Meuron come to lecture in the Netherlands? Spin off in the form of potential commissions is not likely to be the real incentive: lousy building budgets, ludicrous fees and the, in Jacques words, bottom up culture are not the ultimate preconditions for good architecture. So my guess was that the true reason might have been a special request by the Royal Family: a new Palace maybe? I tried to confirm this with the Princess but she told me there were no such plans…
When checking the location of the event in Google Maps I made a pleasant discovery. While zooming in a stunningly beautiful pixilated image appeared; was this just a blurry representation of the classified area or in fact H & de M’s design proposal for the New Paleis Noordeinde?