One of the most famous architects of the Netherlands was Hendrik Berlage. He lived from 1856 till 1934 and is responsible for a few of the best-known buildings in my country, like the Amsterdam stock exchange. Berlage often designed everything in and around the building as well, like floor tiles, lamps and benches. Berlage left his marks on The Hague in several ways.
In some streets, you can still find street lanterns he designed and even some of his public benches remain. One of Berlage’s best known buildings is the Gemeentemuseum. The museum is famous for its collection of paintings by Mondriaan, a contemporary of Berlage. The building provides the perfect surrounding for these paintings, with lots of natural light. Berlage never did see the building finished; he died one year before it opened. Still, he believed it was his greatest work ever.
Not many people know that the museum has a back garden with beautiful quiet lawns and some nice sculptures. An archway, designed by Berlage, runs through to the back of the garden, where a pavilion was built as a resting place for visitors. The pavilion still exists. Nowadays, it’s a nice restaurant with a sunny terrace overlooking the lawns. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy a high tea or a meal after a visit to the museum or the Imax movie theater next door. The restaurant was named after its creator: Brasserie Berlage. It figures! It’s probably the best spot to take in the architecture of Berlage.