The new city hall in Deventer is seamlessly integrated into its historical surroundings, uniting the historical city hall with a new city office. The new building complex is located at the Grote Kerkhof and extends as far as the Burseplein. The 24,000 m² project consists of 20,000 m² of new buildings and 4,000 m²of existing listed monuments for renovation and restoration. The project consists of an entrance building with a main building behind it and brings together all of Deventer’s employees, formerly spread around the city, under one new roof. It houses the city council and all municipal services and revitalises a formerly forgotten part of the inner city.
The city hall design blends seamlessly with Deventer’s typical urban tradition of gardens and squares that are interconnected by means of alleys, lanes, pathways and gates. The building is organised around two new public squares: an open court surrounding the former mayor’s residence and a covered inner square, the central hall of the building where citizens, visitors and employees can meet. Adjacent to the office buildings on Polstraat and Assenstraat there are two large city gardens situated next to residential buildings.
At ground level, the building creates a link between the city’s two most important squares through a new continuous route that starts at the Grote Kerkhof, continues via the open Mayor’s Court and covered central hall to the Burseplein and ends at the main Brink square. Perpendicular to this passage there is a second pedestrian route that connects the inner city with the Ijssel river bank. Both are public routes. On the first level a closed circuit has been created for City Hall staff and employees, connecting all the historical buildings with the new ones. This route runs around the Mayor’s Court and enables a fast connection between all functions and departments.The front building at the Grote Kerkhof consists of two levels with a sloped roof and a façade composition with strong vertical lines, like its neighbouring buildings, ‘De Hereeniging’ and the old city hall. Thiscontinuity makes the front building fit in effortlessly with its historical surroundings. A city balcony is created by positioning the roof backwards, creating a distinct façade at the ‘Grote Kerkhof’.
The main building consists of three levels, like most buildings surrounding it. The tall, vertical windows blend in with the architecture of the inner city and allow daylight to penetrate deep into the building, together with the skylight in the large hall. The main building has a roof surface consisting of alternating mansard roofs and green flat roofs, creating a skyline similar to its environment. The mansard roofs create spacious interiors in the attics. The roof terrace alongside the Mayor’s Court offers a panoramic view over Deventer’s inner city.
Open, filigreed wooden frames and closed brick volumes alternate within the façades. The stone façades consist of large block masonry with protruding window frames. The bricks are multicoloured, creating a vibrant appearance. The filigreed façades consist of a grid of oak wood frames of different sizes. The oak framework provides space to integrate contemporary art into the building’s architecture.
A series of aluminium grids was designed In collaboration with the local artist Loes ten Anscher, to fit within the oak framework, containing 2264 unique fingerprints of 2264 different citizens of Deventer. Distributed across the outer and inner façades of the building, they form one large work of art. The visible presence of Deventer citizens in the façade makes the city hall a true ‘Citizen House’.The city hall contains both public and private spaces with individual materials and detailing. Robust materials and sober details characterise the public spaces. The anthracite-coloured natural stone floor leads the visitor from the various main and side entrances on the ground floor to all public spaces, such as the central hall and the Mayor’s Court. The walls, stairs, columns and panelled ceilings are made out of concrete and finished with solid oak frames and fillings. The oak filigree façade with aluminium fingerprints is continued from the street into the interiors surrounding the court and central hall, making the interior part of the outdoor public space. The confined spaces are mainly situated in the main building and contain the city’s offices and back offices. Concrete and solid oak are used in combination with soft white and grey tones in the interior and furniture.
The Deventer City Hall is one the most sustainable public and government buildings in the Netherlands, owing to a clever design with tall spaces, vast amounts of daylight and air, optimised use of as many natural resources as possible, the implementation of green and sustainable technical measures.
The large number of windows, skylights and high ceilings allow natural light to enter the buildingeverywhere, creating an agreeable working environment and at the same time lowering the electricity consumption. The exposed concrete inside the building contributes to a high-quality, comfortable indoor environment, as the concrete stores warmth or cold in various seasons. Concrete core conditioning is also used. The shed roof construction in the public hall prevents direct sunlight from entering and overheating the building. Ventilation ducts and grids in the windows and floors let fresh air seep into the building. By transporting this heated air out of the building via the atrium, surplus heat is used efficiently. The use of sunlight, rainwater and water from the Ijssel river (for cooling and heating) increases the sustainability ofthe building by 25% compared to similar offices in the Netherlands. The City Hall received the Dutch sustainable GPR score of 8 to 9, as well as the international BREEAM qualification of ‘Excellent’.