Huis van de Stad Rijswijk

Where culture, civic affairs and community meet

December 5, 2023

In Rijswijk, residents are welcome in the new Huis van de Stad (House of the City). You can visit this bustling meeting place for a cup of coffee or lunch, civic affairs, welfare services and a dose of culture. The library with living room atmosphere contributes to the accessible character of the multifunctional building but also plays another important role…

One roof for all community functions

Huis van de Stad is located in the old town hall of Rijswijk (built 1964 – 1967) in the Netherlands. After standing empty for fifteen years, INBO Architects renovated the building, laying the architectural foundation for today’s modern, multifunctional setting. The former courtyard garden was transformed into a light and open atrium, bringing together all community functions: the municipality of Rijswijk, Trias, Center for the Arts, Welfare Rijswijk, “de Bibliotheek aan de Vliet” Library and catering establishments. An important desire was to create an accessible place for all residents of Rijswijk.

Challenges defied, design soul revived 

As stunning as the final result of the new library in Rijswijk looks, the road leading up to it was a challenging one. Tessa Wennink, Interior Designer at includi, explains: “Delays in the renovation created budget pressures, partly caused by rising material prices. Thanks to a clever approach and thorough knowledge of the market, we still managed to realize the intended design. In doing so, we carefully maintained the desired quality, all within the tight budget. We owe this success largely to going through a so-called construction team phase in close cooperation with Stonepark, our construction partner, and the Bibliotheek aan de Vliet.”

My house is your house… is our house

Besides the approachable homey character of includi’s interior design, the library has also been given a strong connecting role within Huis van de Stad. It is intertwined both with the architecture of the building and with its housemates, with whom the library shares various spaces and functions. Immediately upon entering the atrium, visitors encounter part of the library collection. Materials can be found in large bookcases, but also decoratively incorporated into seating, for example. A striking, wide podium staircase invites further exploration down in the basement where most of the library collection is housed.  The arts center and ELab are also located in the basement.

“Our new location is truly the second living room for all residents of Rijswijk. Here they can meet, read or study, as well as casually flip through newspapers or magazines.”

Ineke Zonneveld Ineke Zonneveld Manager Programming

Everyone’s place of choice

The basement is a comfortable place to be. Thanks to the atrium’s skylight, there is pleasant lighting. The interior design encourages visitors to wander through the library and find their favorite spot. Seating opportunities abound! From comfortable cocoons – which are even incorporated into the steel bookcases – to large community tables for reading or meeting. Those who seek some quiet time can retreat to the private study areas under the stairs. Whether you prefer the hustle and bustle or some tranquility: the new library of Rijswijk is a warm and future-proof public space where all residents and visitors feel welcome and at ease.

“The library is in its place in the new Huis van de Stad. Beautiful, grand, with allure and with enough intimacy and numerous seating areas. The most important thing is that people feel at home here.”

Gerard Hendriks Gerard Hendriks Director of Bibliotheek aan de Vliet

Project credits

Client: Bibliotheek aan de Vliet (Rijswijk)
Area: 1,200 m2
Design, Art-Direction: includi
Constructor: Stonepark
Architect renovation building: INBO
Photography: Marco Heyda