The buildings around the site are so diverse in height and form that it would be unrealistic to describe them as clearly defined urban spaces. The new town hall and car park will be substantial and tall, yet even in combination with the surrounding buildings these will not merge into a clear-cut street frontage. It seems more natural to make the surface level an exceptional feature. We are proposing that the Spindeplein, the site proper and perhaps also the site of the former police station should be structured as a plaza with plenty of greenery or as a park.
The advantage of a park is that the spatial impact of the surrounding architecture is no longer relevant. The buildings to be realized in and around this green plaza are as compact as possible. The parking issue is resolved in three ways: in a semi-submerged car park beneath the whole site, in a discreet car park that resembles a green mound, and at peak times (Saturday afternoon) also at surface level in the form of three parking areas that are in part planted with trees. This means that a relatively large expanse remains open and uncluttered. The town hall therefore becomes a free-standing, iconic building set within a spacious park. It is a cyclindrical structure that is slightly tapered and features two recessed indentations that render it sculpturally interesting.
These two ‘incisions’ highlight the inviting entrances, which dovetail nicely with the circulation routes in the park. These two entrances open up into the towering atrium where citizens, politicians and staff can mingle. The town hall is a highly transparent structure with an abundance of glass and timber that lends a high degree of visibility to civic functions, most especially to gatherings in the council chamber.