With the arrival of the Israeli embassy and residence to Plein 1813, the municipality is confronted with security requirements set by the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV). Think of speed and impact limiting measures to stop or slow down any (bomb) cars and a minimum distance to the façade of the building that must be secured if an explosion does take place. This resulted in a challenge to minimize the monumental square and still meet the requirements. The decision was made to redesign the square where the starting points were: to guarantee the presence of symmetry, to improve the living space of the monumental (chestnut) trees and a street scene that is not dominated by visible security measures.
The municipality has put together a sounding board group consisting of local residents, the AVN, Friends of The Hague, Committee monument Plein 1813 and the Resident Organization Archipel & Willemspark. This group, together with various departments of the municipality, thought about the inescapable redesign that is also being used to decorate Plein 1813 in style. This resulted in a preliminary design ( pdf-download 6.2 MB ) that was presented at the beginning of July and then released for public participation.Roughly it comes down to the fact that the poles that must stop cars are “packed” in a green hedge of about 1 meter high. Furthermore, the green strip is widened and the lane narrows. There will also be two new walking routes along the carriageway in the square. This is a crossing facility for pedestrians who walk to or from the center via the Alexanderstraat. In the current situation pedestrians must walk all the way around the square. The new crossing is a shortening in the walking route for pedestrians. This walkway is flanked on the carriageway side with poles, catenary masts and (traditional) lanterns as a partition to the roadway. These poles and lanterns are also a security measure.
All details can be found here: https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/gmb-2018-155835.html
The arrival of the embassy and residence also means that the necessary work will be carried out on the premises (Plein 1813 numbers 4 and 5). A lot has been written about this in various (social) media. In principle, the municipality has already approved the application. The building will be radically renovated and 40 trees will be cut in the outdoor area. 11 trees will be replanted during the renovation of the garden after the renovation. A new (security) pavilion at the entrance seems to be significantly different from the monumental appearance of the nearby square. The Resident Organization is still discussing this with the municipality and Israeli government.
More information about the requested environmental permit: https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/gmb-2018-172848.html
Public Space working group