City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

| 4 comments

This asymmetric white building bridges the two existing halves of a town hall in the Belgian municipality of Harelbeke.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Local architects Dehullu & Partners designed the structure to provide an entrance reception for the hall, as well as new meeting rooms and a tourist information centre.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

The white panels that clad the facade are made from Corian and they skew upwards to partially screen a balcony on the second floor.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Grey and white tiles create chequered floors inside meeting rooms and offices, while suspended rectangular lights illuminate a desk in the reception area.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Staircases and lifts are strategically located to overcome the issue that floor heights in the two existing buildings do not correspond.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Another unusual town hall from the Dezeen archive is composed of overlapping cylinders - see it here.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Photography is by Tim Van de Velde.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Here's some more information from Bert Dehullu:


The Town Hall of Harelbeke, Belgium by Dehullu-Architects (text 21/03/2012).

The works that have been conducted are part of a masterplan that was developped in 2007. Due to the growing needs of the city services, the Town Hall was looking for an extension of their site.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

In order to anticipate these growing needs a masterplan was developped. In this plan the historic site of a 19th century flax-factory was incorporated in the new site of the Town Hall.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Redevelopping the new site, a new entrance building was designed, centrally located between two existing historically valuable buildings.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

The new entrance building links it’s adjacent buildings. None of the floors of these neighbouring buildings were corresponding.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

The challenge was to make all of the floors accessible for wheelchair users. Therefore the location of elevators and staircases was very carefully thought of.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Since it’s central location in the city, the new entrance building was designed to be a contemporary ‘landmark’ on the main road of Harelbeke. Therefore the cladding of the facade and the roof was executed in a dirt repelling white material.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

The material is a mineral substance of the brand Corian. It is the first time in Belgium that this material is used as exterior cladding.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Furthermore, part of the historical flax-factory was renovated. The walls and roof of this part were carefully preserved and restored according to the recommendations of the institute of cultural heritage.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

On the inside of this historical part, the pattern of the tiled floors refer to a weaving technique, to make the link with the history of this building.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Click above for larger image

Sustainability was an important aspect in the building process.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Click above for larger image

No cooling was installed in this office building. Due to the high degree of isolation, the use of windowblinds and the white colour of the cladding, overheating of the building can be avoided for the Belgian mild summer climate.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

Click above for larger image

In a next phase the central spot in the site will be transformed into an atrium, in order to centralise all of the city services so the current and future needs of the civilians can easily be satisfied.

City Hall Harelbeke by Dehullu & Partners

  • johnny

    it would be better if it was set back slightly rather than protruding onto the street. It is a simple design, a nice one, but it could enhance the buildings around if with a more reticent approach.

    • Benjamin

      I disagree johnny. With its roof height and angle set by the adjacent buildings, I think this is more than subservient enough. In fact I think it a shame that the Corian exterior wasn't a bold colour. Red?

  • Marco White

    I disagree..it's expected for it to recede from the street. I like that it projects instead.

  • majchers

    …and I agee with johnny. The design is sharp enought to punch out on its own. No need to protrude by that much. Overall – great design! Congratz to the team.