Hengelo town hall and council offices

Town hall and council offices, Hengelo

Balancing romanticism and technology

The correct blend of contemporary techniques and production methods, combined with elements from the surrounding area. That is the Town Hall in Hengelo. A modern, energy-efficient and sustainable design that is in harmony with the past and focused on the future.

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Hengelo town hall and council offices

Contemporary, energy efficient and sustainable design for the town center of Hengelo

Hengelo council wants to re-establish its physical presence in the town centre and generate more traffic there by so doing so. The task was to create one functional unit from the existing monumental town hall and the new council offices, thereby strengthening the fabric of the city. The council also wanted an accessible building: a building for all citizens.

Assignment

EGM architects were tasked with the design of new council offices as well as the renovation and partial restoration of the adjacent monumental town hall in collaboration with HVE architects. The characteristics of the town of Hengelo played an important role in this assignment. The existing town hall is part of the collective memory and is strongly anchored in town life due to the various events that take place there. This was a source of inspiration for EGM.

Town hall

From the start, we adopted an integrated approach for the design of the new build and the renovation. The monumental town hall from 1963, designed by architect J.F. Berghoef, will undergo a reorganisation of functions, whereby the existing structure will be retained and enhanced wherever possible. The hall will be regain its former purpose as a lively central hub and will increasingly be used for (cultural) events and meetings.

Council offices

The council offices are connected to the town hall's lobby by way of a broad passageway on the first floor. The main entrance of the council offices and its public amenities are located on the ground floor. The floors above feature mezzanines with large open office spaces that will be equipped and furnished in accordance with 'The New Way of Working'. The open central area creates light, air and space in the work areas and contributes to the intimacy of the building. Broad stairways connect the cascading office floors and create clarity, exterior views and interaction.

Romanticism versus technology

The design of the new council offices and the monumental town hall balances technology and romanticism. The correct blend of contemporary techniques and production methods, combined with elements from the region. The Hengelo steel industry, the timber-framed farmhouses, the salt towers and local natural materials such as wood and brick are reflected in the design.

Use of materials and sustainability

Sustainability played an important role in the design and the choice of materials from the start. Energy use is reduced through reusing materials, materials with a low environmental impact, cradle-to-cradle ideology, solar panels, sustainable new installations in the town hall and a smart connection with the new council offices. Recycled plastic spheres in the concrete floors led to substantial weight savings. Convective ceilings ensure pleasant indoor climatic conditions and the noise-absorbing materials create a comfortable acoustic environment.

Flexible

The construction is flexible and sustainable. By removing the connection between the town hall and the council offices, future uses of the new building could include independent offices or other functions such as apartments. It is a modern, energy-efficient and sustainable design that is in harmony with the past and focused on the future.