Boterdorpplein square in Bergschenhoek forms the spatial and functional hub of a new district. Various transport routes meet here and there are also sports fields and space for people to meet and chat. The service centre was conceived as an anchor point on the square and the centre of the district. The architecture office of Marx & Steketee therefore gave the building three impressive facades, two of which have a recessed entrance. The entrances lead into a full-height reception hall in the heart of the building.
Service centre Bergschenhoek, The Netherlands
Ady Steketee from Marx & Steketee architecten bv,Eindhoven
Koramic 301, Natural Red and Toscana
Service centre, Bergschenhoek, The Netherlands
The service centre offers space for a range of local amenities, including a doctor’s surgery, pharmacy, community centre and a physiotherapy practice. The services on the upper floors can be reached from the reception hall, while those on the ground floor are reached by a separate entrance from outside. This division also continues on the facade, which is clad with orange clinkers on the ground floor and with clay roof tiles on the upper storeys. The materials were chosen to develop the curved facade surfaces of the building as clearly as possible. The clay roof tiles are screwed to a tile batten construction, which in turn is fixed to the inner supporting shell.
In order to verify whether this type of installation would also function on all sections of the external wall, experimental arrangements were installed in advance on the building site. These trials showed that the clay roof tiles were outstandingly well suited to following the curvature of the facade. The architects opted for a mix of medium red and dark red engobed clay roof tiles. These enable not only the curvature of the facade, but also lend it a certain tactile quality and subtlety and bring the scale of the overall shape of the building into harmony with human dimensions.
The architects also interpreted the inside of the hall as a fourth facade and came up with a special idea for the balustrades on the upper storeys of the full-height hall. Ady Steketee says, “We designed the central reception hall as a place where visitors are received discreetly and where a pleasant and inviting atmosphere prevails. That is why, for example, we milled thousands of cheerful cloverleaves into the multiplex panels of the balustrades on the upper floors. They combine acoustic insulation and decoration in one. The holes are all the same except for one. Namely not a three-leafed, but a four-leafed clover!"
Building in the public sphere often involves an architecture of appropriateness.