Building a party hall with accompanying multipurpose foyer
City of Geel
a2o-architecten & De Architectengroep
De Waai is located in the centre of Geel, opposite the town hall.
The building is part of a cluster of public buildings with a cultural function, including a cultural centre, a library and a cinema. The creation of the new party hall is the first stage of the city renovation project that is to completely redesign the centre of Geel.
The party hall itself is located in the upper part of the building. The lower part surrounds the hall on three sides with a columnbased support structure. The row of columns is an almost classical design, with references to the existing town hall, but also constitutes a screen that controls and varies the openness between inside and outside. The transparency of the three facades guarantees the contact between foyer and public space. This emphasises the building’s public function.
All support functions are located in the lower volume surrounding the hall. The functions occupy an additional shell enclosing the volume of the hall. In addition to storage space, it also provides seating facilities and a cloakroom. The back of the building, which borders on another building, contains toilet facilities and storage rooms.
The entrance hall and the additional shell combine to act as soundproofing. The hall is enclosed by functional rooms that double as a layer of insulation. This way, the hall and the public space are cleverly separated.