Cultureel complex hoogeveen


January 16, 2020

A new Cultural Complex will be built in Hoogeveen where all cultural institutions of the city come together in one building. The complex will be a creative hub bursting with energy, an inclusive place where there is always something to do and where the doors are wide open to all residents and visitors of Hoogeveen. At this child-friendly third place-to-be, it will be all about playing, moving, discovering and having fun.

Following a public European tender, the College of Hoogeveen commissioned architects Common Affairs, third place specialist includi, and IMd consulting engineers to make a design for the new Cultural Complex in collaboration with the cultural partners involved. This will be achieved with a blend of renovation and new construction, whereby part of the De Tamboer city theater will remain. The characteristic rooms of De Tamboer will be preserved and provided with a new twist, creating a building with a completely new identity.

In this building, De Tamboer (theater), Het Podium (pop venue), the Library and Verhalenwerf, the Centrum voor de Kunsten Scala (arts center), Punt H (tourist information center) and the Historische Kring Hoogeveen (historical archive) will offer joint cultural activities. Alderman Erik Giethoorn from the municipality of Hoogeveen explains: “Together we promote the cultural experience and development of the inhabitants and visitors of the region. The new Cultural Complex will also make a significant contribution to an attractive city center. This complex upgrades Hoogeveen’s position as one of the four leading cities of the province of Drenthe.”


Change starts with a vision

Within the inspiring task of the municipal tender, the emphasis was on formulating a vision. Aat Vos, Creative Director at includi explains, “The most important aspect of our entry is that the new Cultural Complex will become an authentic third place. The third place is a public place where you want to stay, next to your home and your work, which is accessible, familiar, safe and nearby. A place that is also nice to visit alone. The common motto of all parties involved is not only to build a building for but also by the people of Hoogeveen. That is why residents and users are put at the center and very closely involved in the development process, which is part of what we at includi describe as user-based design.” Hoogeveen has the ambition to be the most child-friendly municipality in the Netherlands. The developed vision also includes making the Cultural Complex the most child-friendly building; a place where playing, moving, discovering and just having fun are central.

Architects in residence

The first workshop where young people were asked to design their own dream building has already taken place during the tender phase. Their wish list will be included in the preliminary design to be developed. Common Affairs and includi will further closely involve users from Hoogeveen and the surrounding villages in the design process, including special card games that have been developed for this purpose. In addition, the design team will organize a workshop week in Hoogeveen as ‘architects in residence’. During the workshop, Common Affairs and includi will become acquainted with the local wishes, culture, and identity with the aim of incorporating these into the plan.

The common motto of all parties involved is not only to build a building for but also by the people of Hoogeveen. That is why residents and users are put at the center and very closely involved in the development process, which is part of what we describe as user-based design.

Aat Vos Aat Vos Creative Director at includi

Dynamic public space

As mentioned, the future Cultural Complex must become part of the community. Berend Hoffman, architect partner of Common Affairs emphasizes: “In addition to thinking along, we will also investigate to what extent residents can actually help build, for example, by supplying materials or objects that will add a personal touch to the building. It is also important that the dynamic of the program is reflected in the design of the building. The liveliness inside will also have to be felt in the square on the main street and in the park on the side. Partly for this reason, we have proposed that both elements of the square and the park will be continued on the roof. This transforms the roof into a dynamic public space where all kinds of activities can be organized.”


Sustainable and future-proof

Flexibility is a condition for a sustainable and future-proof Cultural Complex. What happens in the building may not only differ per day. Apart from the regular diversity within the programming, it is essential that the Culture Complex is resistant to potentially changing functionality in the future. Sustainability naturally also includes a well-considered choice of materials: materials that will be adaptable, “detachable” and reusable. Contacts have also been made with local recycling companies to see which used materials are available in the area so that these used materials can be the starting point for a new design.



The preliminary design to be developed for the Cultural Complex in Hoogeveen is a co-creation of Common Affairs (architect), includi (third place specialist, interior) en IMd (consulting engineer).

Client: The City of Hoogeveen
Surface: approx. 14,500 m2
3D images: Common Affairs