Visitors stroll along the wooden boards and gaze out across the water. A summery lounge beat is coming from the packed terrace. A zipliner whizzes through the air screaming with adrenaline. The Scheveningen Pier is bursting with life again. Following bankruptcy in 2013 the local icon was at risk of decline. But thanks to Kondor Wessels Vastgoed the pier has been transformed in recent years.
The big wheel, the food boulevard offering freshly-caught fish, artisan burgers and Italian pizza, the luxury hotel suites with spectacular views over the North Sea: just a few of the highlights of the revitalised pier. “You think about what a place needs to bring it back to life,” explains developer Joost Versluijs. “When Kondor Wessels Vastgoed started on this project, the pier had already been more or less written off by many people. And yet we have managed to bring this local icon back into a positive light.” Its new image is highlighted by its nomination for The Success Award: a prize for companies local to The Hague that make a significant contribution to the economy and profile of the city.
What will the next 100 years look like? Right from the start it was clear that the technical and economic lifespan of the pier in its current form was limited. Which is why Kondor Wessels Vastgoed is working to develop a future-proof version: the Next Pier. Joost: “We really want to make the pier the icon of the city. For the pier to be to The Hague what the Opera House is to Sydney.”
Pier of the future
A green park in the sea where you can live, work and enjoy good food and drink: that is the vision for the pier. Kondor Wessels Vastgoed is working with advisers, research companies and the municipal authorities to tackle the greatest challenges. How do you design the future pier? How do you ensure that building in the sea does not have a negative impact on the sea and the environment? In addition to which the project is under intense scrutiny. “There are two things that everyone in the Netherlands has an opinion on: the national football team and the Pier,” says Joost with a wink. “But I think it’s great fun to come up with an ambitious plan that everyone can support and is prepared to go for. Together we can create something genuinely unique for the Netherlands.”
Through the eyes of the developer
“As a developer you always have a great sense of place. What is the meaning of this place? What does it need? Can we improve it? And so you are always thinking in ways of making places more attractive. What I enjoy most is working with inspiring users, architects, builders and other advisers to translate the idea in your head into a distinctive and feasible plan. A plan that brings new meaning to a place and that makes people enthusiastic, proud and happy.”
-Joost Versluijs, Scheveningen Pier project developer at Kondor Wessels Vastgoed