The design by DLW architecture from Nantes is based on transparency and the accessibility of the new town hall for all citizens.
New town hall of Basse-Goulaine, France
DLW architecture, Nantes
Municipality of Basse-Goulain
301, white glazed
Town Hall in Basse Goulaine, France © Stéphane Chalmeau
Town Hall in Basse Goulaine, France
Thanks to its clean design vocabulary, this commanding three-storey town hall perfectly integrates into its natural environment. The compact upper level, which is clad with light plain tiles, seems to hover above the fully glazed ground floor; visual links between the town and the park, between the interior and exterior make the building a transparent connecting link in both the political and urban context.
Following the site contour, about one half of the semi-basement was embedded in the ground, while its facade opens up this level towards the road and is thus providing a direct access to the road for the municipal employees working in the offices. This fully glazed level seems to have grown into the park. It is dedicated to welcoming the public and also provides rooms for official occasions. The upper level is reserved for in-house departments of the municipal authorities. The solid facade, which is clad with light plain tiles, offers more secluded areas, and a large terrace with a glass balustrade faces towards the park.
The entire building is designed as a mixed construction of solid concrete components and a timber framework. In combination with glass and shimmering light-grey plain tiles, which due to their thin glaze reflect a variety of shades, the result is an extremely modern and high-contrast material effect. The selection of the tile was guided by considerations of the traditional building technique from the South Loire Valley, where plain tiles are still frequently used. Beyond the elegant visual effect, the building with an effective floor area of 1,500 square metres also meets low-energy building standards.
Building in the public sphere often involves an architecture of appropriateness.