Specialisten - cabinet 1

Specialists - Crafts

The Central Government Real Estate Agency is making the Binnenhof ready for the future. And that involves a lot of technology. For that reason, many electricians, cable assemblers and IT specialists are working on this renovation. Old professions and craftsmen are needed to implement all these technical innovations whilst preserving the history of the Binnenhof. Thus, the 'craftsmen of the twenty-first century' work alongside carpenters, woodworkers and ironworkers, paint specialists, plumbers and plasterers. A special collaboration!

Freek Vink, carpenter and structural researcher
'I'm involved in several phases of the renovation,' says Freek Vink. 'For example, I do carpentry work to protect historic parts of the indoor areas. But I also make formworks for new climate systems, or cabinets for artworks which are going to the depot.' For him, the best part of his work is the research phase: 'I do exploratory work into the state of walls, floors and ceilings. During that process, I am in direct contact with the design team.'

Danny van Elteren, electrical engineer
As an electrical engineering specialist, Danny van Elteren is involved in installing a lot of the electrical power in the Binnenhof. For this, he works alongside many professionals, from carpenters to light architects. 'The challenge we face is to incorporate new technology in historic areas, without them losing their character,' says Van Elteren. 'That challenge takes many forms. Fitting led lights into a lovely old chandelier, for example. Or incorporating modern ventilation systems in old air ducts.

Judith Bohan, colour researcher and restorer of historic interiors
In the past, the walls of old buildings were often painted over multiple times. But what was the original colour? Judith Bohan does the colour research. 'I start by reading the architectural-historical report. I then start work in the building. In several places, I make "colour layers". With a scalpel, I then expose the various paint layers until all the layers are visible next to each other.' Bohan sends her results to the architectural team, which incorporates her findings in the design.  

For the renovation, experts from the Central Government Real Estate Agency work with carefully selected companies.

Bearers of good luck

For centuries, the stork has been featured on The Hague's coat of arms. In the Middle Ages, they were considered bearers of good luck. Ever since the fourteenth century, storks have been building their nests on the roof of the Ridderzaal. The counts of Holland did their best to make the birds feel at home. Calculations have been found of expenses for 'making the stork's nest'.