Municipal Office Winterswijk / OIII Architecten

© Thea vd Heavel

According to the starting point for this design was scale, creating a harmony not dependent on difference in scale but in how a larger scaled building could connect to the surrounding smaller building through textures and details.

Architects: OIII Architecten
Location: , The Netherlands
Client: Victoria Winteswijk BV
Design: Maarten Sanders, Armand Paardekooper Overman, Emile Revier and Hans Witt
Team: Joeri Apontoweil, Chanthal den Boer, Jelle Seffinga, Kitty Luiken, Wim de Pagter and Martin Vinkensteijn
Construction: F. Wiggers Ingenieursbureau
Building Physics: Nieman
Project Area: 10,520 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Roos Aldershoff and Thea vd Heavel

© Roos Aldershoff

The result of scale limitations for the Municipal Office Winterswijk was an extremely compact and simple building layout containing the office, not making it larger than necessary. It consists of a rectangular volume, dissected by a passage way housing the central entrance.

The exterior surface of the building is covered in a rough textured materials referring to rural architecture, and will be characterised by a subtle detailing in brickwork. The interior of the passage is open and transparent. The top half of the volume is dissected by a number of slits, allowing room for roof terraces.


The program also asked for several apartments, which are designed as a number of individual volumes on the top level and separated by exterior spaces.

© Thea vd Heavel
floor plan

The sculpture of the block refers to the small scale of the direct surroundings and gives the building an informal character. The terraces on the top two levels provide room for the planting of trees and shrubberies, provide some shade and gives the building a friendly character, well suited to its smaller scaled surroundings.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Municipal Office Winterswijk / OIII Architecten" 30 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Scott

    Interesting design. I think they nailed the larger program in a smaller scale. Personally, for a gov’t building, I would expect to see more of a hierarchy developed. Hard to tell where things are and how it’s formalized. Judging from the pictures, I would have said the whole building is an apartment building. I like the texture of the brick relative to it’s location.

  • Hamish

    Exceptional. Detail that only Central European countries can achieve with brick.

  • pouria & yashar

    Although the coloring , fill and gaps , and texture are kind and related to the office, the design is repeated every where and it seems that the architectures like more than others.

  • Holcim Awards

    I really like the massing on this project. It also is an elegant use of brick. Nice work!