Heerlen City Hall and Municipal Offices

Heerlen City Hall and Municipal Offices

Heerlen, Netherlands

Size: 16,000 m2
Status: Completed
Project Design: 2017 - 2018
Project Realisation: 2019 - 2023
Address: Geleenstraat 27 6411 HP Heerlen
Client: Gemeente Heerlen
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Project description

White-painted brick is a characteristic of facades in Heerlen’s province of Limburg, and forms the cladding of the four-storey new Municipal Offices, penetrated by big square windows that echo those of architect Peutz’s City Hall (1942). The new volume floats above the ground on a glazed plinth. Entering at street level from the northern side, you can see right through to the lobby. Wide grandstand stairs echo the striking staircase of Peutz's historic Council House. The double-height public hall has the feel of an urban living room, where residents can access municipal services. Its informality promotes interaction and connection, but there is also privacy in the booths where citizens can interface city services.

Voids penetrate the Municipal Offices, bringing natural light into the whole building, and an interior green wall climbs into it. Along the façade are the desk workplaces. Informal meeting areas are located near or at the void. This central area has an informal character with specially designed furniture that reinforces the identity of the different floors. Wood and natural stone bring warmth to all floors and resonate with Peutz's use of materials.

The entrance area and public hall are located along a central axis connecting the renovated City Hall. Its historical public hall has been restored to its former glory and transformed into a meeting centre including 'meeting square' where entrepreneurs and local administrators can meet. The Council Chamber was also given an upgrade. Technical installations were renewed and the hall has been clad with wooden slats and acoustic stucco. A smart breakthrough provides more space for both large council meetings and smaller committee meetings.

Outside, the rectangular volumes of both buildings complement each across around the restored and landscaped car-free new public space. Seating, biodiverse planting, stone walls and connecting cross-routes give it a fascinating urban sense of place, an outdoor stage for city life. The compact new building, PV panels on all roofs and the energy-efficient installation principle make the complex energy-neutral.

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