The new police station of Schijndel, The Netherlands, designed by De Twee Snoeken, is a carefully detailed building placed in a park setting. The predominantly dark and closed volume only reveals itself to the public at its entrance.
Just like fire stations, a motley collection of vehicles and other objects usually congregate around police stations. The distraction caused by this phenomena are amplified when such buildings are freestanding. Architectural bureau De Twee Snoeken overcame this challenge in Schijndel by not designing a building with an adjacent parking space but rather forging a three level office and walled parking area for service vehicles into one volume. The result is a clear and calm design that gives a closed impression to all sides, the notable exception is the front façade at ground level, where a glass wall on the ground floor marks the public area of the building.
The entrance is remarkably light and open in comparison to the rest of the building. The glass façade is set back a couple of meters and the brick façade is cantilevered, resulting in an veranda, without columns, which marks the transition from outside to inside. This part of the building does not only receive natural light through the windows that lookout to the courtyard, but it also receives plenty of sunlight through an elongated staircase with glass roof. Here, the lightness of the interior clearly contrasts most vigorously with the closed, dark brick facades.