Transparent and open

Nick Myall
Monday 16 Jul 2018

This city hall in Holland is constructed out of circles which creates a unique dynamic

Together with construction team Laanbroek Schoeman adviseurs, SWINN and Galjema, Gortemaker Algra Feenstra is designing Albrandswaard’s new city hall in the Netherlands. For the most part, the programme takes place in a single transparent space. It’s an innovative concept that shows the process of democracy as soon as you enter.

The concept of the House of Albrandswaard resulted from an idea of a welcoming building with maximum transparency and openness. It’s a building with which citizens and employees can identify themselves and of which they can be proud, a building in which approachability and accessibility are of the utmost importance.

‘The crossroads’ of Rhoon

The location is essentially at ‘the crossroads’ of Rhoon, next to the metro station and the Groene Kruisweg, connecting to the overpass between the mall and the castle. To optimise the connection the building has been lifted to the level of the overpass. The entrance and all public amenities will be on this level. This leaves space on the ground level to provide not only a car parking facility, but the bicycle parking, facility rooms and technical rooms are situated there as well.

A transparent staircase connects the ground floor with the entrance level and the roof level, which houses the office spaces for Stichting Welzijn Albrandswaard, the neighbourhood team, flex work stations and a rooftop terrace for the municipality. The current cafeteria at the side of the sports hall will be demolished and integrated into the new building on the first floor with a direct connection to the sports hall’s grandstand.

Dynamic shapes

The city hall is constructed out of circles. These circles have different radiuses, and because the centres of the circles are shifted relative to each other, this creates dynamics. They touch on one side, which creates space between the circular arches on the other side due to the difference in radius. As a result, this creates a covered outdoor area with a sheltered entrance as well as permanent awning on the south side.

Nick Myall

News editor


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Civic Buildings

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