At the beginning of the 20th century a spacious new neighbourhood with mainly villas was built on the grounds of Zorgvliet, The Hague. Today it is known as the embassy district, situated in the woods between the city center and the beach. In 1912-1914, a remarkable villa, measuring 2.400m², was designed by the architect J. Limburg for margarine manufacturer mr. van den Bergh. It is now undergoing a thorough renovation designed by Fokkema & Partners.
The Palladio inspired building has a square and symmetrical floorplan with a large reception hall in the middle. This hall interconnects the two main floors with a grand marble staircase. There is a small attic floor with original rafters, purlins and an extraordinary stained glass, Moorish inspired dome. A basement floor, originally the staff quarters, will be transformed to high-quality space too. With the rearrangement of the terraced garden this floor is now connected to the lower end of the garden overlooking the water. Whereas the other buildings in the area are all built in traditional materials, the exterior of this peculiar villa looks quite different, as if it were set in Tuscany. The villa is clad in a bright sand coloured natural stone, it has a terracotta tiled roof and is surrounded by colonnades with Moorish patterns and details. The villa has been a listed building (Rijksmonument) since 1967.
After the embassy of Japan moved out, the new owner Urban Interest commissioned Fokkema & Partners Architecten to make a design for a complete renovation, restoring the original qualities and grandeur that were lost over time. A historical research bureau helped identify the colours, complementing the thorough research we conducted on the original structures and patterns in the original interior- and exterior architecture. Based on the original features we found, new designs were made to bring back a rich level of detail to the villa, while transforming it into the new, contemporary and daylight flood office for Urban Interest.
Currently, much of the structural and exterior renovation works are delivered and the interior construction works have started, preparing the newly detailed finishes and stained glass both on and off site to be assembled and completed before the end of 2019. We are looking forward to a stunning result!