Heerenveen built their commune Office in the early 1990s. Heerenveen wanted to improve their civil service. The manageability and flight options of the building no longer met the requirements of the current time. In addition, the looks of the office building (realized as a “turn-key project”), was not very open and experienced by the public as “not inviting”.
The old situation
The main mass of the municipality Office (a rectangle) is split into two triangles, on the diagonal part a linear construction with recessed in the heart a circular space, the atrium. In the two triangles are the flight stairs, which further restrict the layout possibilities. All visitors had to walk a passage to the heart of the building to receive information or obtain services. From this Central Hall everyone, visitor and employee, had access to virtually all departments. Not only the ground floor, but also all upper floors were easily accessible for everyone. The Central Hall functioned as one large traffic area making it unsuited for a waiting room and no privacy remained for the public. The visitor found himself in the heart of the Organization visible and audible from the ground floor and all floors around. The town hall was strongly inward oriented focused on the Central Hall. The image was little transparent and inviting.
The new situation
By moving the entrance to the southwest corner is gained much. The entrance is now on a logical spot in the ' urban fabric '. The square in front of the entrance, the Crack square, offers the necessary space, appropriate for a Town Hall. The transition from outside to the inside is relaxed and inviting. There is a direct relationship between entrance and governance of the Community. After all, right above the entrance is located, also visible from the outside, the Council room. The people's Hall is located directly behind the South and the west façade, which the municipality House radiates much more openness. The people's Hall and the meeting rooms in the facade form the showcase of the municipal organization for the public passing by. For achieving an efficient layout and an efficient operation the structure of the building is the starting point. The new public Centre and its BackOffice follow the existing structure. The modular system on the west side is connected with the East side by a ' zebra pattern ' in a modular system. The ground floor is a large open landscape. However by a number of fixed and closed elements there remain enough places that offer more shelter.
The realization of new stairwells in the diagonal structure of this building increases flight capacity in this part of the Town Hall. On the ground floor the stairwells directly connect to outside doors. By this fire and smoke free corridor space don’t disrupt the municipal organization anymore. Also the layout of the floors by this surgery obtain more freedom for different layout. The façades facing the South and west side are substantially amended. Behind storey high glazing, equipped with coloured transparent foil, sandblasted texts and integrated fins located a contemporary municipal organization that has the ambition to improve the service to the citizens.