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A House for the Community

Oud-Beijerland, 1996
sculpture 'Pear Orchard'
room 'Kantine' design Marcel Wanders
Duration: 1996 - 2003
Location: Town Hall, Oud-Beijerland
Participants: 9 artists and all employees of the town hall
Visitors: people who used the town hall
Number of Events: 9

As part of the construction of the new town hall of Oud-Beijerland in 1996, Van Heeswijk was asked to contribute a public sculpture. In close collaboration with the architect Victor de Leeuw, she constructed atmosphere zones she called 'habitats', which visualise what is going on in Oud-Beijerland in order to make the users of the postmodern building feel more at home. The four habitats are 'the Polder', 'the Community', 'Collaboration' and 'Culture'.

'Polder' allowed for the creation of an inner garden that functions as a model for the current ecological management of the region, and in which the local Society for the Protection of the Hoeksewaards Landscape organizes talks and tours. An orchard - representing the historical, natural environment - was also planted outside the building, instead of the planned parking lot.
For the habitat 'Community' an 'engagement room' was built. This special room had been overlooked in the new building's design, because nowadays in the Netherlands, registrations of marriages, births and deaths are mostly processed at a town hall's central information desk. In Oud-Beijerland, however, with a strict religious community still predominant, family matters are of great importance and thus a special, private room was needed where these intersections of personal life and bureaucratic procedure could take place. 'Collaboration' consisted of a new design programme for the information desks and the canteen, emphasizing the need for employees to learn more about each other and their work activities. Finally, in 'Culture', a four-year program was established, inviting artists to contribute a work to one of the habitats and to create interventions in the building's architecture. All these habitats were incorporated in a specially designed sign-posting system. Making use of the existing budget allocated to the building process made it possible to take the project Een huis for the gemeenschap (A House for the Community) beyond the small amount of funding reserved for art, and it is still up and running today. The project was an intense process, not only working with the community to integrate an art project into their lives, but also devising an official city government structure in order to ensure it ongoing support.
project writings:
A House for the Communityparticipants:Albert van WestingContributing one's own artwork
Bob GoedewaagenReporting in image
BouwfondsFinancial support
Culturele Raad Zuid-HollandFinancial support
De MaasstadTechnical realisation
Engelen & EngelenContributing one's own artwork
Erik LeurmansText editing , Written or oral text contribution
Gemeente Oud-BeijerlandCreating space , Financial support
  :. Bert WaardenburgWritten or oral text contribution , Production
  :. Dries van DrielProduction
  :. Gustaaf KuhneReporting in language
  :. Job KoensReporting in language
  :. Joris BuitendijkReporting in image
  :. Kees JongmansReporting in language
  :. Petra van ProoijenProduction, Text editing
  :. Wim HammerAdvice concerning content
Johan VerweijenReporting in language , Technical realisation
Maja ZomerContributing one's own artwork
Marc GijzenTechnical realisation
Marcel WandersContributing one's own artwork
Miranda SpekWritten or oral text contribution , Text editing
Mondriaan StichtingFinancial support
Ole BoumanReporting in image
Ove LucasText editing
Paul CoxContributing one's own artwork
Provincie Zuid HollandFinancial support
Rocka ReprografieTechnical realisation
Roger TeeuwenGraphic design
Roy VillevoyeContributing one's own artwork
Simon DaviesContributing one's own artwork , Graphic design
Tamar de KempReporting in image
Tanja WallrothText editing
Ton VossenAdvice concerning content
Viktor de LeeuwAdvice concerning content, Development of the artwork , Creating space
Wapke FeenstraContributing one's own artwork
Wessel HollemanDevelopment of the artwork , Technical realisation
Zeger ReyersContributing one's own artwork
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