Facts & Figures

  • Governmental institution with
    • Study-rooms
    • Permanent exhibitions
    • Rental
    • Workshop room/ lab
  •  2100 m2
  • The National Archives
  • Genealogical research

National Archives, The Hague

Concept and interior design, furniture and functionality

This is the location where the history of the Netherlands is recorded and preserved: 125 km of archive material, 14 million photos and 300,000 maps testify to a thousand years of Dutch history. Although the valuable collection is accessible to all, that was not the general impression. With a large renovation, a new interior and interactive installations, the archive is now truly inviting. Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe shifted the focus from archiving to include presenting and communicating. To cater to a wider audience, functionality and decor have become more intelligible and appealing.

All around the courtyard, mini presentations reveal what the archive has to offer. An interactive family tree acts as an introduction to the genealogy department, and land survey equipment with a touchscreen projects gigantic maps illustrating how the contours have changed through the ages. A semicircle of 25 digital photo frames provides a first glimpse of the enormous image archive. Further along, the parliamentary depot is recognisable by the sealing wax dripping down, complete with the official stamped emblem.

The link between the past and present carries through in subtle details. The wall tiles in the workshop are arranged chronologically: 18th-century Makkum tiles line the bottom, while the top features a modern version from the Mosa factory. The cushions that protect valuable books during viewing are another unique combination of the historical and modern. Even the seating in the study toys with time; classic models by Friso Kramer, Rietveld and Gispen are placed alongside modern designs by Ineke Hans and Richard Hutten as if in a game of musical chairs.

Floor plan

Client: National Archives of the Netherlands, The Hague
Year: 2013
Concept interactive installations developed with: Erik Nap
Production: IHC Interior
Measurements: 3100 m2
Project number: 11.008-NA
Products available for sale via USUALS: Tea towels, Gradient Red, Handles