Text description provided by the architects. Grenswerk, part of the medieval city on the Maas river, is to become the future creative and cultural heart of Venlo. Specifically the parceling, typical of old town structures, was advised by the urban plan of AWG, as being a carrier of new architectural developments.
Following zoning regulations, the building envelope has a mass which lends to the residential focus in this area. In order to distinguishing itself therefore, we chose for a sensitive yet strong approach to the volume, which corresponds with a warehouse typology.
We feel strongly, the volume in this way was able to blend elegantly into the dense urban environment. The new pop temple is capped, in accordance the urban plan, with the historical roof plan of the town centre, further concreting its strong identity. The roof structure was further worked out to become one of the main characteristics of the building, an architectural statement. From the entrance the roof structure is exposed, continuing into the main hall, enhancing its unique experience. The façade refers back to the historic warehouse in an abstract and decorative way. Large windows puncture the façade to make the program of the building easily read from the outside.
The plot is in relation to the floor surface relatively limited. This was a determining factor in the final design and position of the hall. By lifting the hall and giving it a central position on the site, it was possible to wrap all public functions around it; the entrance, the pop café, rehearsal rooms and loading at street level. The space between the hall and public functions then accommodate the emergency stairs and toilets, providing an extra noise buffer. Spaces between each public function can then be left open as voids, which visually connect the foyer and halls, artists, office workers and visitors. The programme is positioned to create an open, transparent atmosphere that on the ground level creates an inviting plinth and connection to the urban fabric. The overall appearance of the pop temple is that of interaction and conviviality, of the visible activities. The practice studios are vital to this, having windows to the entrance and pop café, allowing the music to be visible to everyone that visits.