Project description of Police Station Boxtel by Wiel Arets Architects:
The Boxtel building was commissioned by the Dutch regional police force and its design responds to the aim of the police to redefine their relationship with the general public and also within the police force through a process of “openness”. This openness is sought at the institutional level, yet it is also to be represented in its new buildings. Such an objective requires architectural research into combining the needs of security with a design conveying this sense of permeability.
The Police Station is sculptured, enabling its users to traverse the building through a series of spatial thresholds creating a cinematic oscillation between the garden and the interior, between the served and serving spaces. Its form creates an ambiguity in scale, which fluctuates between the industrial scale of its materials and the domestic scale found in the surrounding housing. A raised block creates an entrance void below allowing a momentary glimpse from the road and passing cars.
The building is enclosed in a homogenous skin of standardized, narrow, industrial profiled panels of matt, translucent glass connected to the main structure by an aluminum frame. Where required, differentiation is handled in a more subtle manipulation of the elements, producing the seemingly severe appearance of a gleaming, icy, alien body. In addition, the restrictive sun transmission regulations were reconciled with the skin by interpreting them as a percentage of the complete facade. This gave a freedom to manipulate the facade into a seemingly random arrangement of opaque, translucent and transparent areas depending on the functional requirements and the reconciliation of the conflict between openness and security.
project (title): police station boxtel
location (address): Bosscheweg, Boxtel, the Netherlands
project team: Wiel Arets, Dorte Jensen, René Thijssen
collaborators: Lars Dreessen, Rhea Harbers, Harold Hermans, Ralph van Mameren, Dominic Papa
site supervisors: Hein Urlings
furniture design: Wiel Arets, Doris Annen
date of design: 1994
date of completion: 1997
photographs: Hélène Binet, Kim Zwarts, Jan Bitter
client: Politie Brabant Noord
program: Basiseenheid Politie Brabant Noord
Building contractor: Bouwbedrijf van der Pas Oss bv
Installation consultant: TEMA bv ingenieurs