West shows contemporary art in the former American embassy (designed by Marcel Breuer) in the heart of The Hague museum district. West, as an art institute, focuses on the most relevant international developments in the field of the visual arts. West offers artists space and opportunities to develop new work in a social context by situating it in a wider dialogue. Lectures, presentations, performances and discussions underpin the exhibition policy with a theoretical basis. A series of brochures, documentaries and the website complete the activities that bring the different aspects of West together.
National Monument by architect Marcel Breuer
The building was designed by the famous Hungarian-American architect Marcel Breuer and has a unique architectonical and substantive significance. In Breuer’s oeuvre, this building (1959) plays a major part, as it is one of the first large buildings that he managed to realize. At the same time, the extraordinary window and façade construction makes this building just as distinctive as the MET Breuer museum in New York. Breuer originally designed and built that building for the Whitney Museum, but since they moved it has been put into use by the Metropolitan Museum under the name MET Breuer.
In addition to their ongoing programme, West Den Haag will, among other things, pay attention to the unique cultural-historical significance of this site. On the one hand, this national monument is an icon of the reconstruction after the Second World War and a symbol for ‘Pax Americana’ and later the Cold War and terrorist threat. On the other hand, the building is also an important monument for what might be the most influential cultural movement of the 20th century: Bauhaus. An institute that introduced, from 1919 to 1933, a pioneering new view on the assembling of various art disciplines and technology, and at the same time also laid the foundations for the modern design of our daily environment. By reflecting in a substantive and critical way, West Den Haag will provide its audience with a stronger feeling for the unique cultural-historical significance of the building, and at the same time give them an insight into a new age. That is: the age of imagination. Besides their own programme, West Den Haag will also realize catering, places to work and meeting rooms, all in cooperation with ANNA Vastgoed en Cultuur. In doing so, various target groups and activities will be combined.
West Den Haag
Since 2017, West Den Haag, together with the Mauritshuis, has been one of the two The Hague visual art institutions that are admitted to the prestigious national Basic Infrastructure (BIS). With this arrangement the national government supports art institutions that provide a high-quality offer of (inter)national importance. Since 2016, West has presented its programme from this new position and the associated national commission, such as in municipal palace Huis Huguetan. The exhibitions and projects that are realized by West Den Haag attract a lot of local, national and international audiences, and are regularly reviewed in the national media. The municipality of The Hague and the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science provide a structural support to West.
West The Hague in the former American Embassy on the Lange Voorhout is located near the Binnenhof in the city centre of The Hague. If you come by car via the Utrechtsebaan, follow the signs 'centrum' (city centre). The best place to park your car is in the parking Interparking Museumkwartier. You can also park underneath the Malieveld. From here you can walk to the Lange Voorhout within five minutes. Another option is Interparking on the Korte Voorhout. If you travel to The Hague by public transport, you can walk from The Hague Central Station (10 minutes), or take tram 1 or 9. If you arrive at Den Haag HS Station, take tram 1 or 9 in the direction of Scheveningen beach.