(August 2013) On the one hand, the municipality wanted to set a landmark in the middle of the city, but on the other hand, the building was conceived to be integrated in the existing complex. We are talking about the center of the city’s Government to a population of 25,000 citizens in Belgium’s Willebroek.
Architects found help in converging the contradictory demands in the façade’s material: they used a sandstone similar to the one used for the near-by church (Sint-Niklaaskerk) and the old town hall (Gemeentehuis)…
… but with a difference: The stone was set in mosaic in a variety of hues and sizes. It creates „a vivid and contemporary look“ according to a text by Brut architects.
It is the Indian sandstones Okra and Mint from the state of Rajasthan, supplied by Stone Age Limited, Jaipur and installed by Belgian Marmerwerken Allard & Fils.
Material and hue are important factors for the interior décor as well. Wood paneling was used copiously „making people feel comfortable and at home“.
Bright colored bands help visitors find their way around the 4 story building.
On the interior a gilt frame surrounds the window openings: a kind of optical metaphor on the Flemish Masterpieces – citizens can experience the beauty of their city as if it were a piece of landscape art according to the architects.
Architects wanted their work to be open and transparent. Picture-window fronts on the façade connect to the exterior, and protective balcony railings allude to exclamation marks. Assembly hall space is enclosed only by means of glass walls.
Stone Age Limited, Jaipur
(30.08.2013) (US: 08.30.2013)