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 exterior of the municipal office at the Laan van de Glazen Stad has a straight-forward appearance; the interior is spacious, inviting and representative. The building consists of two generic office bays with a high, luminous and green atrium in between them. Among others things, the atrium comprises the reception and restaurant. It has a strong visual relation with the front square.
Connected to the office floors by means of walkways the atrium holds several ‘islands’. These are part of the traffic routes between the two office bays, which have a flexible layout. The islands are fitted with seats and coffee pantries; it is here where employees discuss the weekend or, for example, eat cake on a birthday. Thus, the islands not only significantly contribute to spatial diversity, but also play a key role in stimulating meetings, interaction and social cohesion.
The municipal office offers a contemporary working environment with different types of workplaces and many options for meeting and sharing knowledge. The ground floor houses general functions like the project, meeting and instruction rooms, as well as the dispatch and technical areas. The upper floors are arranged with different types of workplaces in open, semi-open and more confined areas in a gradual scale ranging from bustle through murmur and peace & quiet. The quieter, more private areas are situated along the façades; the areas for meeting and cooperation are positioned along the lively atrium.
The municipal office has an overall appearance that is both professional and attractive. As in the public and administrative centre, the colours used for the interior elements stem from the Westland logo. As an identity-enhancing element, wall-wide photo prints with typical scenes from the Westland life are used in a variety of spaces.
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. Open staircases are prominently positioned, stimulating their own use and with that a healthy use of the building. 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.