Grave’s new town hall is a sculptural building situated on a cramped site, with its ground level 75 centimetres above the surrounding surface. The aim of the project was to give the ‘garden’ around the building a grander look, a difficult request given the small parcel and the difference in height.
A solution to meet this challenge was found by raising the garden by 75 centimetres, giving the green rim its own impact and meaning.
Made of broken concrete tiles, the outer rim is robust, with significant mass. The desired natural stone proved too expensive.
The building’s entrances can be reached by access ramps that slice through the lawn. To achieve that effect, the ramps’ vertical edges are made of corten steel, which contrasts with the massive outside retaining wall.
Three groups of acacias were planted around the building. Once full-grown, the trees will feel as if they were there all along — as if the huge town hall had been built among them. This will give the site a natural look.
A special feature of this project was that the architect, the artist and the landscape architect all started at the same time, allowing each of us to attune our individual work to that of our colleagues.
Municipality of Grave
In collaboration with
Erick van Egeraath Associates
Emilio Troncoso Larrain