Title: RAADhuis
Client: Gemeente Meierijstad
Location: Schijndel, NL
Year: 2021
Size: 1.350 m2
Subject: Repurposing a town hall into a living room of the village with an interactive art route

The former town hall of Schijndel (NL) is repurposed into the RAADhuis: a combination of library, art museum, tourist information center, and municipality services. How do these functions come together in an attractive and coherent way? The layout vision is to intertwine them, which actually amplifies the functions. We developed the interiors in close collaboration with the different users and external experts. 

TenBrasWestinga architects adapted the building to current needs by lowering the coffee room to ground level, connecting it to the surroundings, and to the basement and first floor. 

The cold and stately town hall was turned into a cozy living room for the town of Schijndel. Therefor we chose oak wood and soft round shapes. The interior takes lead from the beautifully detailed 1950’s building. Generous details in our custom furniture follow the ambiance of the building, like the diagonal wood grain that takes lead from the original stone details in the entrance hall walls.

Duinzand developed the overall concept: ‘The art of…’. For instance the art of fantasising, researching, feeling, looking, etc. Books, poetry and art are brought together under these themes. And the fun thing: you’re allowed all kinds of things you normally wouldn’t in a museum, like touching sculptures or selecting pieces from the art depot. Take a look under the floor with a periscope, and find paintings or literature on walls, ceilings, and even on the toilet. Get a tablet from the reception and go on an interactive exploration to find the secret of the arts, and comment on the art pieces on show. 

The interior design continues on these themes. Every room got its own surprising appearance based on moodboards with fabrics, colour palettes, materials, furniture and of course the art pieces. Many original details are brought back: the old boardroom furniture is re-used, and light fixtures were fetched from the attic.

This results in a unique place, where the municipal art collection is experienced in an accessible way, supported by the library collection, and vice versa.