Temporary Tweede Kamer building to undergo 'very long list' of renovations
The Tweede Kamer has drawn up a substantial list of work on its temporary building and sent it to the Central Government Real Estate Agency (RVB). The total costs, most of which will be borne by the RVB, are unknown.
The furnishing of the eighth floor of the Chamber Building on Bezuidenhout has been budgeted at 1.25 million euros. The Tweede Kamer is responsible for this cost. The opening of the eighth floor is necessary because there is now too little space for all residents of the Chamber. For example, various parliamentary inquiries are underway, such as the one into gas extraction in Groningen, for which extra space is needed, a spokesperson clarified. More space is also needed for group support.
Apart from the preparation and furnishing of the eighth floor, there is a "very long list" of issues in the building that are currently not satisfactory and must be resolved, said Thierry Aartsen, chairman of the Building Supervision Committee for the renovation of Binnenhof. The list of tasks was drawn up by this committee, together with President of the Tweede Kamer Vera Bergkamp and the housing department, who also set priorities for the work.
The building must be in order from a health and safety point of view, which it currently is not, Aartsen said. For example, temperature and oxygen are not properly regulated. "If the sun shines a lot, the temperature in some places in the building can rise to 26 degrees." This must be tackled as a matter of priority, the Chamber has determined.
Group and meeting rooms should also be soundproofed as soon as possible. "Confidential conversations must be possible there, but now you can often listen in on what is happening two doors away," Aartsen said. The parking garage for guests must also be made more representative. The bare basement that guests drive into with their drivers now "looks more like a shipping room."
The regular parking garage must also be adapted. The narrow parking spaces and the many concrete columns cause a lot of car damage, and the electric charging stations need to be replaced.
Building safety is also high on the list of priorities, but Aartsen does not want to give examples of what is currently lacking. The RVB does not want to make any announcements about the costs of the work that it will bear. Confidential agreements have been made with commercial parties for this, said a spokesperson for the RVB.
All buildings on the Binnenhof, including the Tweede Kamer, will be renovated in the coming years. The old Foreign Affairs building on Bezuidenhout in The Hague has been renovated as temporary accommodation for the Tweede Kamer. Last summer, the Chamber moved to B67, as the building is called. The renovation will take more than five years.
Reporting by ANP