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.
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
Sustainable interior design
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.