11 – Your humble servant

At the edge of our neighbourhood stands the Peace Palace. On 30 May 2012 a new Visitors Centre was opened, a ‘gatehouse’ situated on the left, immediately inside the main entrance.

Just like the main building, it is an architectural tour de force, but very low to the ground and without any stylistic connection with the Palace. Michael Wilford, who was also responsible for the much larger Academy and Library building, designed the Centre.

Photo: Webteam

Is the ‘close to the ground’ character of the new building perhaps a way of emphasising the ‘grandeur’ of the Peace Palace? On the website, I read that the new Visitors Centre is not visible from the Peace Palace itself. This seems to me more than just a coincidence.

The new building puts me in mind of a servant who, in deference to his lord and master, tries to make himself as inconspicuous as possible.

Frits Hoorweg, 12 June 2012