Decision postponed on new Spuiplein centre
Published: 31 January 2011 Modified: 23 September 2011
The Hague Municipal Executive will postpone taking its decision on the new dance and music centre on the Spui until 2012. However, the municipal government believes that a new cultural centre needs to be built on the Spuiplein if The Hague wants to remain an attractive city for culture in the future.
According to Deputy Mayor Marjolein de Jong (Culture), ‘We aren’t going to build the Cultuurforum because the orchestra and dance company need new halls, but we're building for the city. This building will offer everything under the sun: from Kane to Kylián and from Bach to (Dutch Schlager singer Frans) Bauer.’
For more than half a year the plan for the new centre seemed hopeless. But upon closer examination and discussions with the various parties, the Municipal Executive concluded that the new complex had to come although a definitive decision will not be taken until mid-2012. The new cultural centre, with halls for the Residentie Orkest and the Nederlands Dans Theater and space for the Royal Conservatoire, should be completed in 2017.
The mayor and aldermen (college) said it needed more time to arrange the financing for the construction plans as a result of budget cuts. The relevant organisations and the municipality this year will look into the possibilities of financing the project from the private sector, such as sponsors and partnerships.
It is likely that the design by Neutelings Riedijk Architecten for the new ‘Cultuurforum’ on the Spui will be toned down, leading to savings of € 46 million compared to the original plan.
A major part of the plan includes the Royal Conservatoire moving to the Spui from its current location. This move will cost € 81.5 million and will be financed by the national government. The rest of the costs will have to be footed by the municipality.
European Capital of Culture
An important reason for going ahead with the plan in these difficult economic times is The Hague’s bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2018. However, the city also aims to make the city centre more attractive with an outstanding offer of culture for local residents and the international community. It would also be a boon for the Spuiplein, which many people view as a gray space.