Hegiasri Hutaries – Graduation project 15/16
In Search of New Life for an Urban Space
There is a place that I fear the most in The Hague due to a bad memory of being robbed: Muzenplein (the square of Muses). It is a square close to the Royal Academy in the heart of De Resident: a prestigious high-rise business district close to Central Station, designed by the Luxembourgian architect and urban designer Rob Krier. Was it by accident that the robbery took place here? What are the factors that contribute to the, in my view, uncanniness of the Muzenplein? I decided to take my personal experience as the starting point of my graduation project and to transform Muzenplein from the place that I feared into a place that I would love to go and feel safe.
I studied literature about Krier’s view on urbanism to get to know the ideas behind the project and to find out what he intended with Muzenplein. On the basis of this background information and my observations I could compare the initial ideas with how the area turned out to be. By interviewing people who live and work at Muzenplein I gained insight in how I could improve the area and bring more liveliness for, and interaction between, its residents and the visitors of the area. For my design I decided to use the metaphor of “open house”: a transformation from an unhomely space into a homely place by adapting the different rooms of a home, like the hallway, the balcony, the living room, into the context of a public interior. This is my design challenge: to translate these homely spaces in response to the existing and in my view complex morphology of De Resident: long alleys, the horse-shoe shaped Muzenplein, the circular-shaped Clioplein, the rectangular garden, and the nearly empty Muzentoren. After all, I believe this area deserves a second chance.
All images @INSIDE & Hegiasrie Hutaries