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.”
Town Hall: The Latest Architecture and News
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.