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Entry: Sunday, May 28, 1972
Submitted by:
Jaap Bakema Study Centre
The Netherlands
Public space
Bakema and his office Van den Broek en Bakema designed the new town hall of Terneuzen as a meeting point. It is situated between the old city and the new districts and it sits against the dyke overlooking the sea and the Westerschelde estuary. Because of its bold and sculptural concrete architecture it acts as a point of orientation for the citizens of Terneuzen while connecting the various elements of the larger environment (old and new, sea and land, government, administration and community). The architecture is reminiscent of infrastructural engineering works that serve and protect, rather than the representation of authority. The spatial lay-out of the building is like an upward going spiral; by way of a split-level system public and ceremonial spaces are connected with the offices of the administration. Bakema calls the building an 'open structure', because of the interrelationships between the building as a democratic representation of the city and the larger community and because of the concrete structure that opens up at the top of the building awaiting future appropriation.
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