Hofbad Aquatic Centre

The Hague, 2012

Hofbad Aquatic Centre

News: April 24, 2014

Hofbad in NOS news

Hofbad starring in news item on NOS.nl, in a presentation on the new approach on swim education by the KNZB (Royal Dutch Swimming Federation).
Hofbad in NOS news

News: April 17, 2014

Hofbad in Architecture Yearbook

VenhoevenCS is proud to announce that our project Hofbad has been published in the new Architecture Yearbook!   The yearbook is the showcase of Dutch Architecture, with 30 of the most remarkable projects selected by the editors and describing the most important developments and trends that were of influence on the production and design of Dutch Architecture.   The latest edition also gives an overview of the most important awards, competitions, exhibitions and publications over the past year. The Architecture Yearbook has been an essential survey for over 25 years for everyone who is interested or professionally involved in Dutch architecture.    
Hofbad in Architecture Yearbook

On most days, Hofbad is a multifunctional aquatic centre with a range of use options for all residents of The Hague and environs. One of the pools is an indoor 50-metre pool with a huge grandstand, so it is also used for national and international swimming, diving and water polo competitions. That means that on such days all eyes here are on sporting performance and competition. The building is designed for easy and straightforward conversion to use for either purpose. But the building is also unique from an environmental perspective. Its state-of-the-art insulation, rooftop energy generation and extremely sustainable systems make it extremely energy-efficient.


The building is also intended as the first element of a unique ensemble, with the residential towers still to be built forming the crowning touch. Under the building’s scaly skin lies an airy, almost organic inner world, a subtle allusion to the physical side of the activities that take place here. This organic idiom is the guiding principle behind the design of all the interior elements.

The main construction of the swimming pool areas, for example, with their overhead beams and crossbeams suggesting the shape of a ribcage, or, perhaps more literally, a backbone with ribs. This principle is carried through from the large competition pool down to the small children’s pools, in each case with the dimensions adjusted to the functional requirements. This overriding structure guarantees a rhythmic theme throughout the space and a clear, identifiable structure, underscored in part by the natural light and the many lines of sight connecting the activities with each other and the building with its surroundings. The air conditioning cabinets are housed in the ‘backbone,’ and are equipped with a direct connection to the swimming pool rooms through a set of extra ‘ribs,’ to allow even distribution of fresh air.

Name:Hofbad Aquatic Centre
Location:Ypenburgse Boslaan, The Hague (NL)
Program:indoor 50-metre swimming pool with grandstand, instruction and recreational pools, dining facilities, meeting rooms
Surface area:9,050 m2 gfa
Assignment:schematic design, design development, specifications, detail drawings and aesthetic direction
Client:Municipality of The Hague, Education, Culture and Science
Team:Ton Venhoeven, Jos-Willem van Oorschot, Danny Esselman, Kees Plomp, Tim Habraken, Niels Boswinkel, Manfred Wansink, Lydia Fraaije, Roland Herpel, Bas Römgens, Arjan Pot, Martijn Schlatmann (intern)

Hevo (cost and project management), Pieters Bouwtechniek (construction), LBP (building physics), DWA (installations), Breet consultancy (WZ installations), VBK/CFE (contractor)

Images:Photos: Ronald Tilleman, plans: VenhoevenCS
Background Information