The municipality of Westland originated in 2004 by the merger of the towns De Lier, 's-Gravenzande, Monster, Naaldwijk and Wateringen. By taking the new town hall into use the municipal departments, up to now spread out over the former towns finally are centrally located for efficiency, optimal cooperation and adequate, friendly service. The city hall on the Verdilaan functions as the public and administrative center. The municipal office
building on the Laan van de Glazen Stad houses the city services and employees.
The project is realized within a DBFMO-contract. The buildings were conceived with a variety of themes, such as representativeness, spatial quality, functionality, flexibility, comfort and sustainability. On both locations, the architecture is based on the metaphor of a greenhouse; after all, the greenhouse is an omnipresent element in the urban, cultural and economic aspects of the Westland municipality.
The centre for the council and public services at the Verdilaan has the character of a ‘house of the community’. It is an open and accessible building with a representative appearance that offers space for the council, the public services and the Westland society, that also offers room for initiatives, gatherings and events. The building consists of a long rectangular volume. At its backside, a generic bay of three storeys contains the public consulting rooms, the restaurant kitchen, offices and the historic archive with accompanying reading room.
In front of this generic bay lies the large, transparent and inviting atrium. One side of its ground floor level holds the public entrance area; the representative reception area and restaurant are situated on the opposite side. In the middle of the atrium, the council functions are housed in a spacious ‘furniture-like’ construction. This has had rounded ends, extra high ceilings and a skin of glass and wooden slats. The lower level contains the shared functions of the administrative apparatus like the committee rooms and the conference centre. The upper level comprises among others the council hall, the room for the Mayor and Aldermen and the party chambers.
The transparent atrium façade offers passers-by a direct view on the administrative functions. The high degree of insight and transparency is inviting and the light and warm appearance accommodates an agreeable working environment. The boardroom is sizable and many rooms are multifunctional. Movable wall panels grant maximum flexibility and adaptability. During the day, the committee rooms can be used as meeting rooms. When the flexible walls are fully opened, a large open space for press conferences, parties, weddings, exhibitions and large gatherings comes into being.
The materialization is typically Westland-related: elements like plant beds in the surrounding area, as well as the use of glass and wood, refer to the glass city's greenhouses. The furniture is upholstered in the colours of the Westland’s municipal logo. The building is CO2-neutral. The use of energy is strongly reduced by means of a variety of modern-day techniques and materials. The energy nonetheless needed is largely derived sustainably through (partly thermal) pv-panels. Phase Change Materials function as thermal buffer storage.
Daylight gets through everywhere and is omnipresent. The materials are robust, need little maintenance and were produced sustainably. Sustainability was also achieved through the method of industrial, flexible and demountable (IFD) construction, which rendered the realization highly efficient and made for a minimum of materials and waste. A flexible use and optimal possibilities for the re-use and recycling of elements are also key within the method.