Town halls and civic architecture are defined by spaces for gathering and focused work. Located in urban centers, they bring systems and people together. As one of the most diverse nations in the world, Spain balances a respect for history with an optimism for the future. Exploring environmental, social and economic impact, town halls represent emerging Spanish design culture and local values.
Town Hall: The Latest Architecture and News
In the world of politics, the notion of “transparency” refers to the honesty constituents expect of their elected officials. In architecture, it means something much more literal: a transparent surface, like a window or glass wall, is one you can see through. In the small Dutch municipality of Albrandswaard, architects Gortemaker Algra Feenstra have melded the two definitions with a circular, glass town hall. As the firm writes of the project, “a single transparent space...shows the process of democracy as soon as you enter.”
Occupying the center of a small farming town in Finland, Säynätsalo’s Town Hall might appear almost too monumental for its context. Designed by Alvar Aalto in 1949, the town hall is a study in opposition: elements of classicism and the monumental blended with modernity and intimacy to form a cohesive new center-point for the community. These and other aspects of the design initially proved somewhat divisive, and the Town Hall has not been without controversy since its inception.