With the expansion of Herema State’s town hall, the resident is central to De Fryske Marren

“Future-oriented, accessible and connecting: the plan for the expansion of the town hall in the Herema State Park on Joure is in line with the ambitions of our municipality,” says Councilor Barbara Gardeniers. The municipality is there for our residents and a centrally accessible town hall ensures that we remain a vital service provider with space for collaboration and meetings. The plan for TWA architects ensures a connection with our residents, entrepreneurs and social organizations. The design is progressive and sustainable and has been enthusiastically received”.

In one building

Since the municipal merger in 2013, De Fryske Marren municipality uses – in addition to the central town hall in the park – an additional building for staff accommodation, namely Woudstate in Joure. Around 110 employees work here. This building incurs rental costs and, in the long term, central housing for all employees is economically more attractive. In addition, one place ensures better collaboration and gives residents and entrepreneurs more visibility, speed and connection. The expansion can be realized budget-neutral.

Respond to new insights

In 2019, the board and council have chosen central housing for the municipal organisation, so that we could start planning in 2020. Due to corona, however, this came to a standstill. This also resulted in new insight into working on location. After all, working at home also offers good opportunities and will continue to be part of our way of working. The required number of new square meters could therefore be adjusted down.

The functional and spatial requirements program has been drawn up on the basis of the new insight, and the tender process has started in the summer of 2022. Three architects have submitted a plan based on our requirements programme. TWA architects’ plan is surprising and fits perfectly with our ambitions for collaboration and sustainability. TWA architects also designed the shipyard in Lemmer.

Enrichment of the park

The plan takes into account the history and sight lines in the park and surrounding area. The extension fits in well with the existing building in terms of shape and use of materials. The extension will be modestly placed in the ‘armpit’ of the current building, taking into account the wishes of the local residents. With the car-free avenue and the adaptation of the environment and pond, the design is also an enrichment of the park.

“The particular historical and park-like environment has had a great influence on the design; building and park reinforce each other,” says architect Doeke van Wieren. It’s about a first impression; In the coming period, we will continue to work on the plan with a view to adopting the ‘preliminary design’ in the spring of 2023 in the council.

Circular construction at the town hall

The construction is realized according to the latest energy standards. The building will be gas-free, and circular construction is an important starting point: building as sustainably as possible by reusing materials and/or with materials that can be reused in the future.

Place for meeting

Surprising features include the atrium that provides daylight in the center of the building and the new location for the hospitable entrance to services. This will be on the ground floor, making it easier to get to. The extension offers spaces for residents, organizations and employees to meet, modern workplaces, council hall with reception for the press and the public, new central reception and the possibility of participation, conversations and hybrid consultations, so online connection is also possible.

Barbara Gardeniers: “With this expansion, we remain a decisive, future-oriented municipality, and we respond to developments around service and cooperation with residents”.

Refine design

Last week, local residents and interest organizations in and around the park were briefed on the design. We will look together at the integration in the park, the use of materials, climate adaptation options and the routing in the park in the coming period. In addition, the architect looks at the further design and fine-tuning of the building’s interior with the users.

Time line

We are now working towards the preliminary design. It is planned that the council can decide on this in April 2023, after which the tender will be drawn up. The aim is to start construction in November 2023 and take the extension into use in autumn 2024.

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