Amersfoort is getting a new city hall.
Kraaijvanger Architecten has made a sketch design for it. Starting point for the design were the ideas and wishes of residents, interest groups, employees of the municipality and the city council. They found the themes of meeting, sustainability and the life span of the building important. To meet these, a larger one-time investment is needed than previously anticipated. However, the annual costs for the House for the City will remain approximately the same as the current city hall.
Willem-Jan Stegeman, alderman of City Hall: "A city hall is only really a House for the City if all users enjoy coming there. We have therefore listened carefully to what residents, employees and the city council consider important. Making a design that meets all the wishes and needs and fits within the financial framework is a challenge. In my opinion, Kraaijvanger has succeeded well in coming up with solutions in the design that pay for themselves so that the building will last for generations to come."
David Hess, Kraaijvanger Architects: "With this building Amersfoort shows that it deals responsibly with real estate with an eye for people, animals and the environment. Now, in the short term and in the long term. Conscious investment with an eye for long-term value is the precondition for a sustainable future. The House for the City can thus become an example for a circular economy and climate adaptive building. An example that will hopefully be followed by others."
Wishes from the city
The sketch shows what the shape of the building will be, its size, how it will fit into its surroundings and what functions it will have. For example, residents will be able to meet each other in the catering facility, make use of the meeting rooms, stroll around the green squares and gardens and attend council meetings. And of course they can go there for municipal matters such as passports, permits and weddings. In addition, it is intended that other social organizations, such as Indebuurt033, UWV and Stadsring 51 will get space in the House for the City to improve services to residents. The design also shows that much attention is paid to measures to make the building energy neutral such as solar panels, the use of thermal storage, good insulation and sustainable construction. The trees and plants on the roof ensure more biodiversity in the city.
Recovering the investment
In order to realize the wishes and ambitions from the city simultaneously, over 100 million euros are needed. This is a larger one-off investment than previously envisaged. The annual housing costs for the new city hall will remain approximately the same as for the current city hall. This is because the municipality can spread the investment costs over a longer period. Because of the investments in future-proofing, the new city hall will last 50 years, whereas the original aim was 40 years. In addition, a return is achieved from solar panels, high-quality insulation, and heat and cold storage. The municipality will also receive income from renting out rooms in the House of the City to catering establishments and social partners. The college has thus opted for a conscious one-off investment that will pay for itself over the years.
Inhabitants: give your opinion
From 7 to 24 October residents can respond to the draft design via www.amersfoort.nl/stadhuis. A number of short videos show what the future House for the City will look like. The videos are accompanied by questions about the design. The reactions are taken into account in the next design phase and shared with the city council. In November the city council will make a decision on the draft design.
About House for the City of Amersfoort
In the future, Amersfoort wants to be an energy-neutral and climate-proof city with sufficient homes, where some 180,000 residents will feel at home by 2040. A House for the City must fit in with this and be suitable for the future. Therefore, together with the city, the municipality is developing a new city hall that is sustainable, healthy, easily adaptable and budget-neutral. An accessible building with an Amersfoort atmosphere where civil servants work and where all residents (like to) come for municipal services, meetings and cooperation.