The Ministry of Finance in The Hague opened their new Bethlehem Lounge on Monday, January 13. Team V was commissioned to design the interior for this new working lounge and coffee bar.
In the Bethlehem Lounge employees can welcome their guests, meet each other, work between meetings and have a break with a cup of barista coffee. With its varied mix of seating areas – from semi-closed compartments with TV screens to coffee tables and sofas – the Bethlehem lounge answers the wishes of the ministry staff for more informal meeting places. The lounge can also be used for informal drinks and gatherings.
The new work lounge is clearly visible from the ‘Korte Voorhout’ street. Through the high windows is a view through the lounge into the characteristic green atrium of the ministry building. Before the Bethlehem Lounge was completed, the 1,500 m2 space was used as a library and documentation center, which was no longer needed after digitizing the archives. The new working lounge not only benefits the employees, but also offers passers by a glimpse of the space from the street.
Sustainable interior design
The interior of the lounge has been designed to give a homely atmosphere. The wooden floor, felt upholstery, large plants and color palette of red, pink and gray give the lounge a warm appearance. Part of the space has black, lowered ceilings, creating cozy coves between the robust column structure. Sustainability was an important theme in the design. The felt upholstery is made from recycled PET bottles and the general waste is divided and collected in five different categories. This system of waste separation will be implemented throughout the entire building.
Born in Bethlehem
The Ministry of Finance dates from 1975 and was extensively renovated in 2009 by Meyer and Van Schooten Architects. The interior design of the Bethlehem Lounge is a continuation of this earlier assignment. The name “Bethlehem” refers to the birth clinic that was located at this site before the ministry was positioned here. Many people from The Hague and ministry employees were born here.