Willemsoord, the charming naval shipyard in Den Helder, proudly embodies the town’s deep connection to its maritime heritage. A clever move has been the town hall, to find a new home within Willemsoord, adding another layer of importance to this historical maritime gem.
Building 66 – A Monumental Heritage:
a mast shed dating back to 1826 and nationally recognized as a monument. Its neoclassical style exudes dignity, with the focal point being its grand wooden roof construction. This unique feature defines the character of the internal street, now home to essential public services. The intentional design choice to highlight the wooden beams plays a key role in telling the building’s story. Visitors can trace the history through marks and inscriptions left by its previous occupants.
Philosophy Behind the Lighting:
When it comes to lighting, the focus was on accentuating the wooden beams. This was achieved using carefully chosen pendant luminaires with an uplight component. This not only draws attention to the height of the space but also reveals the intricate details of the wooden beams. Creating distinct atmospheres for different areas was another important aspect. The entrance maintains an outdoor feeling, while the main rooms like the council chamber, wedding hall and committee room, radiate indoor warmth. The use of different colour temperatures skilfully achieves this, ensuring a welcoming and tranquil atmosphere in each designated space.
Building 72 – Preserving the Sail Manufacturer’s Legacy:
Moving on to Building 72, the former sail manufacturer from 1949, stands out as a recognizable landmark in the shipyard’s naval activities. The incorporation of new workspaces around a central void required a delicate balance between artificial and natural light. Atrium skylights bring in natural light, contrasting warm white hues in circulation areas to create inviting and warm public spaces.
Our involvement extended beyond architectural lighting to the design of specific luminaires. A custom chandelier was crafted for the ‘Raadzaal’, the council chamber, complementing the space’s ambiance and monumentality. Wall luminaires in both Building 66 and 72 were carefully chosen to unify the atmospheric qualities of both structures. This comprehensive approach ensures a harmonious and integrated lighting experience throughout the entire Stadhuis complex.
Photography: J. van Dam – Van Hoogevest architecten