Huis van Eemnes: an unexpected third place* to meet, create and participate

07 Oct 2020

Huis van Eemnes (The Netherlands) is a new culture house. It is an inspiring third place to meet, create and participate. Here, both organized and spontaneous activities take place. At Huis van Eemnes, everybody feels at home, whether it is in the multifunctional theater, the brasserie, the sports hall, the ‘living room’ or the library. Huis van Eemnes is nominated for the NBD Biblion award/Dutch Library of the Year.

Director Robert-Jan Vos explains, “Huis van Eemnes is an accessible meeting place for all residents of Eemnes that combines unexpected functions. In our house, you can borrow or read books, drink coffee, have lunch or dinner, enjoy a show, have meetings, but also exercise and much more. It presents a combination of profit and non-profit organizations under one roof. By often sharing more than just the entrance, fascinating collaborations and programming are initiated.”

Combining extremes

The extensive building (6,660 m2) was designed by the architectural firm of MoederscheimMoonen Architects. The House has an important core function for the village and is one of a kind due to the combination of two extremes: the peaceful surroundings of the Gooi en meer Library and the dynamics of De Hilt sports and culture center. The interior, a co-creation of aatvos and MARS Interieurarchitecten, provides a bridge between these two apparent opposites. This cohesion is achieved by emphasizing togetherness while carefully listening to the needs and wishes of the residents of Eemnes. A sophisticated mix of warm materials, smaller and larger seating groups and differences in height has also created a space where you can always find a place that suits you.

Vibrant heart

Upon entering, you immediately arrive in the vibrant heart of the cultural center. The pulse of combined functions is made possible by a spatial mix of the library, brasserie and bar. These entities are openly connected to each other and surrounded by multifunctional rooms, including a theater hall and a large sports hall (approx. 2,100 m2) that can be divided into three rooms for events to take place. A central grandstand staircase on top of a wooden stage breaks through the large, open entrance area. The staircase can be used for different purposes and features physical enclaves on either side for studying, sports and games (including a pool table and area for darts). The stage alludes to an old gymnasium floor thanks to the graphic application of sports lines. The bar, with contours of a house, is a striking eye-catcher thanks to its brightly colored top and a brick front. The doors of the brasserie can be opened in the warmer months, creating a direct connection to the terrace.

The sustainable building design has been developed with ecologically mindful installation techniques. For example, climate ceilings are used in a large part of the building. The building is all-electric and energy-neutral with more than 1,700 solar panels. A generous glass facade creates a high-profile entrance.

In the embrace of the bookcase

The Gooi en meer Library collection is found throughout various places in the House thanks to a bookcase that partially envelops the walls of different floors. The bookcase is a wooden construction, partly combined with metal, for which the parceled polder landscape of Eemnes was a source of inspiration. The case stretches upwards and thus connects the rooms on the ground floor as well as the different floors. The enormous cupboard wall, which also includes seating areas, is multifunctional. Here you will find the so-called Canon of Eemnes, a collection of sketches, old photos, sports equipment and other objects that refer to important events in the history of the village. In addition, part of the cabinet will be made available as an exhibition space for local artists. And all that, of course, surrounded by the books.

“By creating Huis van Eemnes, we’ve developed the hospitable library of the future together with aatvos and MARS Interieurarchitecten. The combination of functions that we can create here is of great added value to our work. Eemnessers, our customers, can find everything here to give shape, color and content to their lives with activities for everyone,” says Marian Buvelôt, director of Gooi en Meer.

On the ground floor, children can play to their heart’s content in the library’s kids zone, exploring books or the inside of a large teepee tent. A stage for group meetings is also available. In addition to the library space, the first floor includes offices where the teams of the various organizations within Huis van Eemnes work. The dynamic range of sports, relaxation and culture emphasizes the versatility of Huis van Eemnes and also ensures that there is something to do at any time of the day.

* Third place = A third place is a public place where you like staying, next to your home and work. It is a welcoming place that is accessible, familiar, safe, and close by. It also invites you to visit alone.

Project credits

The interior design of Huis van Eemnes is based on a vision developed by aatvos, together with the client in a workshop.

Client: Gemeente Eemnes
Concept, workshop, preliminary design, art direction: aatvos
Final design, engineering, supervision of realization and visual identity: Mars Interieurarchitecten
Building design and concept bookcase: MoedersheimMoonen
Building contractor: Vaessen Algemeen Bouwbedrijf BV  
Interior builder: Gieskes Interieur BV
Lighting plan: Bisque Lighting
Photography: Marco Heyda & Jan de Vries

PRESS KIT: Huis van Eemnes

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    PRESS KIT: Huis van Eemnes

    - Press information (available in EN, DE, NL)
    - Photography
    - Terms and Conditions

      Please read our privacy and cookie policy to understand how we collect and use the data you provide by submitting this form.