cepezed designs city hall and rhc woerden

cepezed obtained the commission to transform the city hall and the Regional Historic Center of Woerden. Within the municipality’s architect selection the office gained the highest score in project vision, the presentation as well in the project approach qualifying itself as economically most valuable offer.

The cityhall of Woerden is located in the industrial park Middelland at the south side of the historical fortified city and no longer suffices. It's architectural and climatically outdated, unrepresentative, spatially and functionally obsolete and additionally over-dimensioned for the current, more flexible ways of working. The design task therefor entails a combination of downsizing and modernization.

The design principles by cepezed include an efficient use of the existing building, coupled with a minimum of highly cohesive optimizations, as well as a green embedding of the new city hall. Therefor the vision is based on partial demolition, a strong structure of the remaining construction and outside space, as well as the limited, targeted addition of new building elements.

A spatial experience and an atmosphere of openness and connection within the new city hall are key themes just like an efficient execution of the plans. Of the existing city hall the better part along the Blekerijlaan will be retained. Also the rear part, which contains the archives of the Regional Historic Centre, will remain intact. The buildings along De Bleek and the existing entrance volume on the inside corner of the current complex will disappear.

Additions include a new council chamber on the north side, an extension on top of the archive volume and two transparent vide volumes on either side of the remaining building block. These will bring light, air and a spatial experience into the existing building. The west vide will contain new stairs and meeting islands. The voids play and important role in the spatial quality of the new town hall and also contribute greatly to the physical and visual interaction between the different functions and floor areas. They also form an integral part of the climate concept.

The redesigned interior is entirely based on the principles of Activity Based Working and has a multitude of workplace typologies within a flexible format. In addition, it is strongly zoned for gradation of quietness or interaction, with the quieter spots along the Blekerijlaan and places for meeting and more cooperation along the open strip on the west side of the building. In terms of tone and atmosphere the redesigned interior is modelled on the distinctive agricultural landscape of the Green Heart, of which Woerden is the capital.