The $7.2-million new Montgomery Village Hall is a 22,000-sq-ft facility set into a sloping site overlooking the Fox River.
The village’s board of trustees selected the location to demonstrate the village’s commitment to the development of a new village center.
The site is designed to foster community gatherings and activities such as the annual Montgomeryfest.
The building’s exterior design reflects the community’s riverfront location and history. The stone arches of its facade reflect the community’s heritage by recalling the old bridges spanning the river.
Owner: Village of Montgomery, Ill.
General Contractor: Berglund Construction, Chicago
Design Firm: Nagle Hartray Danker Kagan McKay Penney Architects Ltd., Chicago
Its interior, however, reflects modern thinking about service, technology, collaboration, long-term flexibility, and a commitment to serving the growing needs of the village’s citizens.
The design includes a one-stop-shop service counter that allows citizens to conduct all business with the village from paying a water bill to securing a building permit.
Open office planning is not new, but it is unusual in village halls, where departments are usually segregated by demising walls.
The open design of the Montgomery Village Hall staff offices fosters communication between departments and gives increased flexibility for future staffing.
The village board’s commitment to quality design and construction can be seen in material selections such as the tile roof, stone arches and terrazzo flooring. The construction is intended to set the standard by which future development will be measured.
The measure of craftsmanship in design and construction is best taken in the board room. Exposed timber framing supports a structural wood deck that is also the ceiling finish. Lighting and sound systems are integrated into truss design. Audio-visual technology, including that required for cable television broadcasts, has been integrated seamlessly. Cherry wood millwork and stone wall finishes distinguish this room as the most important in the village hall.
The board room breaks from the traditional planning model of having the board at a dais facing the audience, which has proven increasingly awkward as audio-visual technology has advanced and presentations have become increasingly sophisticated. The circular Board dais in the Montgomery Village Hall fosters eye contact and communication among Trustees.
The arrangement of the dais, audience seating, speaker’s areas and projection screen allow everyone to see the same projected images without technology getting in the way.
The new village hall serves multiple functions. It is a municipal facility, a gathering place for public events, and a catalyst for the development of the downtown. It will be a model for the quality of future developments.