Fokkema & Partners Architecten translated an ambitious program of demands to renovate the City Council Chamber (Raadzaal) of Almere with regard to accessibility, safety and installations into a self-evident design. Improving the proximity of the public to the political process was a major objective of the renovation which in addition restores many of the original qualities. To achieve this the floor plan was redesigned. Beside fitting a greater number of representatives for the growing city, it is now invites other users as an elegant space also for more intimate meetings. The wooden rings provide a gentle backdrop framing the council members during meetings. The ceiling was reconfigured and outfitted with a new lighting plan, and excellent acoustics. The entry of daylight through ceiling windows was restored. The translucent natural stone wall is another original feature which is embraced by the new interior. A unique representation of the city Almere was made for the carpet at centre stage in collaboration with the designers Scheublin & Lindeman. This design with using new techniques was executed by Wool studio.
In 1986 the City Hall of Almere first opened its doors. Cees Dam conceived a building with two wings, each 5 stories high, with a cylindrical Council Chamber hovering over the entrance foyer. The Council Chamber is at the pivoting point of the perpendicular wings. Today it celebrates the many qualities from the original architecture while at the same time it carries the warm and fluent signature of the public areas on the ground floor which have been renovated by Fokkema & Partners Architecten in years before.
photography: Horizon Photoworks and Bart Buijs (images during a council meeting)
With as a highlight the delivery of the Raadzaal of Almere (the City Council Chamber), the final stage has been completed in the renovation by Fokkema & Partners of the public spaces of the City Hall. The contemporary City Hall has a clear signature characterized by transparency, new service concepts and integration of technology with clear wayfinding.