Flexible upgrade for Assen council chamber

De Zwarte Hond designed the town hall in Assen in 1994. In 2015, the town hall’s offices were upgraded, now it’s the council chamber’s turn for a thorough renovation. The furnishings have reached the end of their lifecycle, the audiovisual aids no longer meet current requirements and the structure is too static and focused on debate with the Burgomaster and Aldermen rather than on council debate.

With the idea of “Everyone in the Circle”, De Zwarte Hond was selected as the architect for the transformation of the council chamber; three other bureaus were also in the race.  A large, flexible, oval table with recesses ensures optimum communication and contact between the councillors. The public has a view of the entire table from the gallery.

A bench, on the inside of the table, provides seating for more intimate gatherings, such as a wedding. Curtains immediately round the table metamorphose the space. This central area is where citizens and politicians can meet on a more informal basis before and after the meeting. The flexibility of the table and the curtains also makes the area suitable for other purposes such as a workshop or public presentation. The basis of the design is tranquil with warm wood and white. The skylight, the glass façade and the continuous natural-stone floor are qualitative elements that will be reused.

In the coming period De Zwarte Hond will develop the design further, so that the council can move into its new accommodation in the autumn of 2018.