Villa Escamp Elevation

Villa Escamp

temporary town hall

Villa Escamp is a temporary pavilion and art installation. It is designed to house activities organized in conjunction with the building process of the new, large and monumental municipal town hall of Escamp, The Hague.

location: Escamp, The Hague
design: 2008-2009
realisation: 2009-2011
client: RAAM "praktijk voor sociale architectuur", in collaboration with Stedelijke Ontwikkeling Den Haag
structural engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek
contractor: Peter Carels with Olsthoorn greenhouses
photography: Moritz Bernoully
Villa Escamp Implanting


Villa Escamp Corridor
Villa Escamp Side

The site for the pavilion is a former bicycle path leading through a small park with monumental horse chestnut trees. The path has lost connections and significance as a result of the large building site adjacent to it. Responding to the client's urgent need to quickly build a spacious, multifunctional space for a very limited budget, we proposed placing a standard greenhouse among the trees. Within the greenhouse we placed a white timber box, housing all spaces and facilities that enable the small structure to act as a public building: the kitchen, storage and installations, toilets and a long, gently differentiated, lockable room.

Villa Escamp Plan

floorplan and section

"Villa Escamp acts like a magnifying glass for the neighbourhood. One can go there for a coffee, make plans, or even get married. One can borrow living stories or just go there for a chat."

- Tonie Boxman of Stichting RAAM

Villa Escamp Greenhouse 2
Villa Escamp Side 2
Villa Escamp Greenhouse

In the spaces inside the timber box there is room for private meetings, paperwork, presentations and dinners. The space on either side of the white box in the greenhouse serves as space for larger gatherings and activities and has been "furnished" with spatial installations designed by various artists.

Unlike many projects by our office, the main structure of the main room of Villa Escamp is not clearly expressed: it is a simple timber frame construction with a smooth white finish. The white volume creates a charming contrast with the unfinished, standard structure of the greenhouse.

Villa Escamp Box Kitchen
Villa Escamp Box Door

"When you're inside Villa Escamp you are in a different world. What a miracle that glass can offer so much shelter!"

- Joost Zwagermans

Villa Escamp Glass

The chestnut trees formed an atmospheric leaf roof and served as effective sun protection.

After a period of two years, the building was carefully dismantled and rebuilt next to a school building, where it is used as a pavilion for the students.

Villa Escamp Long Side