Almelo’s new city hall fulfils a central role in the plan for the city centre. As the most important public building in the restored city centre, it provides an impetus for the revitalisation of the heart of the city, and is by far the most significant building for the identity of Almelo and its renovated city centre: a prestigious icon of renewal. With its open and inviting character, it also forms a natural link between the city’s residents and its administrators – the mayor and aldermen and the city council – and so gives expression to the changing vision of the council, with the primary focus on transparency and openness.
In the design the council chamber is situated at the corner of the building, transforming it from a more closed block to an extremely transparent volume located by the entrances to the new city hall.
The transparent main entrance from the Grote Markt square emphasises the feeling of a continuous urban space, leading the visitor into the roomy hall, which houses all the public functions. The meeting areas for the offices are situated by the atrium in the form of courtyard gardens.
The building is constructed on a human scale, designed for all its users. The design and layout of the central hall make a major contribution to a positive experience and to communications between the building’s various users. The generous planting in the hall and around the entrances creates a friendly atmosphere and enhances the communal nature of the public hall.
To further stress the public character of the building, the wedding hall and the restaurant are prominently situated on the top storey, with views of the Grote Markt, making this upper floor a favoured location for receptions and public celebrations.