County Hall Vechta

An expansive forum-like courtyard, enclosed on three sides by a U-shaped administrative building, is not only the formal structure of the complex but also, as a conceptual idea, the focus of the design. This inspiration came from Vechta’s former royal and monastic complexes, which continue to play an important role in the town. A dominant urban planning feature, the brick-faced district building lends order to the small scale and heterogeneous surrounding structures and influences their appearance.

Because of the public path that crosses through the complex of buildings, the forum together with the main entrance becomes a semi-public space with a unique atmosphere, well suited for cultural events. Interior and exterior spaces form a design unity, in which the built structure and the surrounding landscape positively affect one another.

The point of departure for all formal considerations was nevertheless the building’s functionality. Paramount is the simple orientation within the building, which, as a bright, transparent structure, reflects a contemporary understanding of administrative services and how these relate to the citizens they serve. Each department is easy to locate and visual links towards the exterior allow for a clear and simple orientation. Corresponding to its central importance, the parliamentary area is located in a circular building situated in the middle of the forum square. This is connected to the cube-like administrative wing via a glazed entry hall and a bridge and has, like all the façades facing the courtyard along the forum, a white plaster surface.

> Landscapearchitecture

Location Vechta, Germany
Competition 1st prize, 1985
Construction 1995 – 1997
GFA 12.000 m²
GV 61.000 m³
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