The place they created is a response to a question: “How can you create a symbol in a limited amount of space, with a limited budget and on a plot too big?” or, put differently, “Is it possible to resolve the plot’s specific scale problems and transform its constraints into assets?”
They tried to develop this project from a clear standpoint: that the new town hall building has to be a place capable of generating life: a place more than a building; a meeting place rather than somewhere one goes for administrative purposes; a clear, unitary image that can create an identity without resorting to the clichés inherent in buildings representing state authority; a workplace concerned more with the intelligence of its space than the materials and techniques used to create it.
The project’s federative element is its contemporaneity, and in their view, this primarily means minimising impacts, developing a potential and foreseeing future evolutions.
The firm based its design on easy legibility of the building’s various services, clearly indicated around naturally-lit patios, and the spatial organisation around a central hall.
Their architectural, environmental and economic approach to these programmatic and urban constraints, combined with their will to create a building housing extensive area of superstructure and limiting intermediate load-bearers to a minimum, gives it the flexibility indispensable for its running and future evolutions.
Photo credits: Julien Lanoo