Renovation Schoenenkwartier | Raadhuisplein, Waalwijk
© Wienerberger B.V.

Respecting craftsmanship

architectum edition #38

Renovation Schoenenkwartier | Raadhuisplein, Waalwijk
© Wienerberger B.V.

Schoenenkwartier, Waalwijk

in The Netherlands

Renovation Schoenenkwartier | Raadhuisplein, Waalwijk
© Wienerberger B.V.

Products used

Terca Menton HV BNF, Terca Menton HV WF and Terca Verda HV WF

Respecting craftsmanship

The newly inaugurated Shoe and Leather Museum in the Schoenenkwartier district of the city of Waalwijk takes its inspiration from local history and transports that history into the future with hand-crafted waterstruck bricks.

A museum as a place for the present in the Netherlands

Leather tanning and shoemaking are inseparably linked to the history of the city of Waalwijk. The founders of the Leather and Shoe Museum searched for a place where they could permanently display the exhibits illustrating this dynamic history for a very long time. Eventually, they found Raadhuis Ensemble on the town hall square.
The building complex at this site had always been the centre of the leather and shoe industry and is now going to spend its golden years as a leather museum. After the renovation of the existing buildings and the inauguration of the Shoe and Leather Museum, the district was also fittingly renamed the Schoenenkwartier (shoe district).

Embedded in a historic ensemble

At the site, Civic Architects found an ensemble of pre-existing brick buildings from 1930 designed by Dutch architect Alexander Kropholler. Kropholler was an exponent of the “historical style” and did not skimp on eye-catching details and ornaments. In 1980, rectangular, three-storey wings were added to the pre-existing buildings. Civic Architects began their work in 2020. The architects’ aim was to make the best possible use of the existing material: “We wanted to keep as much as possible,” explains architect Gert Kwekkeboom of Civic Architects. And so the concrete walls from the 1980s were stripped down to their bare bones and filled with bricks. Large circular openings perforate the walls, providing glimpses of the exhibition rooms. “The atmosphere was very important to us: open spaces, lines of vision and respect for the pre-existing structures”, the architects explain.

A combination of soft and bold shades

For the walls Terca Menton and Terca Verda - hand-moulded bricks – were used to create create a warm impression in conjunction with the existing buildings. "We wanted to build an interplay of warm, soft hues juxtaposed with the existing ensemble", explains Gert Kwekkeboom.
To avoid detracting from the bright red of the existing buildings, the architects chose somewhat softer shades. "The brick we used is greyer and slightly sandy", explains Kwekkeboom. In addition, the clinker bricks are slightly smaller than those of the pre-existing building, where the bricks were laid in a Flemish bond. In this style, an alternating laying of shorter and longer bricks creates a staggered look. Flush joints in the same colour as the masonry complement the brickwork. Finally, the architects were very satisfied with their choice of products: "The smaller bricks are still an easily recognisable element of the façade and do not get lost in the overall picture".

Renovation Schoenenkwartier | Raadhuisplein, Waalwijk
© Wienerberger B.V.

Facts & Figures

Project name: Schoenenkwartier, Waalwijk, The Netherlands

Architecture   Civic Architects 

Client  Municipality of Waalwijk

Year of completion  2022

Producs used  Terca Menton HV BNF, Terca Menton HV WF and Terca Verda HV WF

Building type  Public

Edition  architectum #38

Renovation Schoenenkwartier | Raadhuisplein, Waalwijk
© Wienerberger B.V.

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