After the relocation of the Army Museum from the Armamentarium in Delft to Soesterberg, this ensemble of buildings became available for a new use, matching the nature and the great cultural-historical value of the buildings. The majority of the buildings are national monuments from the seventeenth century. A combination of cepezed projects and investor Driestar has won the plan ‘Arsenaal Delft’ the public sale by the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf.
The Arsenal has a striking location along the Oude Delft and Lange Geer canals, which meet exactly at the head of the complex. The white building here is the oldest and dates back to 1602. This is being redeveloped into a restaurant with a large, floating terrace and a conference center on the first floor. The second building dates from 1692. Here is an exhibition space plus store on the ground floor; a hotel is established on the first and second floor. Next to the building from 1692 is a former warehouse of the VOC (1653). This has already been redeveloped by cepezedprojects and serves as a unique office space for companies from the creative sector, including Senf Theaterpartners.
The design is based on the power of the monuments. The historical, monumental value is retained entirely and, where necessary or possible, restored or strengthened, but not affected. Interventions consist of modular additions to the existing ensemble that are reversible at a later stage. The characteristic view of the warehouse remains in honor. In some places the monument has its original state again; the bricked-up windows on the courtyards and the closed shutters on, for example, the Korte Geer are façade openings as before. This offers more comfort and possibilities for use and shows vividly to the city.
Between the buildings from 1602 and 1692 a new, glass entrance building has been installed. This is the entrance to the new hotel, restaurant and conference center. In this entrance building the original outer walls become the inner walls. At the top of the entrance building, a walkway connects the hotel to the conference center. The contemporary and light architecture of the glass entrance building emphasizes the contrast between old and new. Just like the windows and blind niches, the previously closed façade doors now have glass fronts with a slim profile. The courts play an important role in the organization and orientation of the complex.
Interventions and additions have been designed with great care, with minimal damage to the existing façades and the main load-bearing structure. For that reason, the hotel rooms are placed on the upper floors as separate, modular elements. This approach guarantees maximum flexibility and future-oriented - the units are easy to remove or move. In this way, the original construction of wooden beams remains largely in sight.