Noud Willers

Noud Willers

Town Hall for Beekdaelen. AAM (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

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Noud Willers

This design opposes the trend towards neutral town halls, which is the result of typological development during the twentieth century. The ensemble symbolises the distinction between the three branches within the democratic system at municipal level on the one hand, and the mutual dependence on the other.

Legislature, Executive, and Citizens are each main user of one building, and guest user of both other buildings. The buildings connect to their environment and each other through the outdoor space. Just like the beautiful Beekdaelen landscape connects the merged villages and provides them with a common identity.

The location is chosen strategically: central, easily accessible and independent of the existing village centers. Within the plan area, the ensemble links up with characteristic landscape elements: a stream, a forest and newly constructed cycle routes. These cycle routes restore the old connecting road between Nuth and Schinnen.

Striking gable walls – inspired by the Beekdaelen farms – organise the passageways to the central courtyard, to which the three buildings are equally situated. The courtyard and bicycle parking space together function as a foyer. Perception of the surrounding landscape is central to the orientation of the representative interior spaces: civic hall, council hall and reception area. Around which the rest of the program is draped, including additional functions: an exhibition space, a tourist center and a restaurant. These increase the raison d’être of the town hall as new cultural center. The application and further development of the local building culture, as well as the flexible ensemble setup, make the design sustainable.

Analogous to the balancing between “decisiveness and support” in politics, the balance between “clarification and connection” plays a key role in this design. The volumetrics and tectonics give the three buildings each their own identity. Details, materials and overlapping program components make the ensemble a whole.

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