Grave City Hall by Erick van Egeraat

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Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat has completed the new City Hall at Grave in the Netherlands.

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Here's the lowdown from the Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects:

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Erick van Egeraat designs for unity and diversity

Rotterdam, 25 August 2008 - The new building for the City Hall in Grave, designed by Erick van Egeraat, was officially opened this summer. The municipality shares the building with housing corporation Maasland and the regional historic archive of the Province of North Brabant, BHIC.

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Seen from a distance, the building presents itself as a singular ensemble. Up close, however, specific identities of the users become
apparent. The three parties present themselves to the public in the main entrance hall, an open environment on the ground floor, thereby
stimulating interaction among the tenants and between tenants and visitors.

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The building is part of a masterplan developed by EEA for Grave in 1998. The masterplan distinguishes between two zones; the historic centre of Grave and the green space surrounding the old fortress. The new city hall is situated on the border between these two zones, on the exact location of the former fortification. The city hall's design refers to both, the historic centre and the surrounding landscape.

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According to Erick van Egeraat, this urban transition influenced his design significantly: "I wanted the building to blend into its
environment unobtrusively, while making it very accessible to the public. We mainly used natural materials, such as wood, natural stone and a grass roof. The design is sturdy and subtle at the same time. In this manner, the city hall opens itself towards the entrance of the town
and invites the public to enter."

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The surroundings were not only an inspiration for the building's materials, but also influenced its shape. The fluent form of the complex refers to the former city walls, the interior structure of the building integrates the town's characteristic alleyways as a theme into its
layout: "At the front, the building establishes itself as a city wall, with the office of housing corporation Maasland marking the highest and
most prominent point; the back side, where the building encloses a public square, has a smaller-scale appearance."

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"Typical for this design is the unity and diversity," says Erick van Egeraat. "The complex unites three very different tenants under one
roof, it has an open character and it blends into its historic surroundings."

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  • edward

    Would have liked to have seen the courtyard, the grass roof, and the alley concept, but what is on view is interesting.

  • Azeem

    Coool ,Excellent work!!

  • Pieter

    Inspired by Willis Faber Dumas?

  • windbag

    pretty dull, so seventies…

  • Michael

    I entered a design uncannily similar to this in a competition earlier this year for a new city hall in Espoo, Finland. They tore the idea apart. I am glad to see the the Dutch (my cultural background) were far more approving of a similar idea. I would love to get a hold of van Egeraat and discuss his influences. This project completely made my day!

  • VIDAL


    Boring, just boring…

  • runningforasthma

    Not his crispest work, but still nice none-the-less. Very Alto-esque facade.

  • Mama

    Boring.

  • DJ

    @ vidal…hi hater.

  • bibo architect

    the one who is taking the photos dont wanna show anything.. all views from one point, as if they r one photo & montaged, + the photos for the interior r really dull.. you should choose ur photographers dezeen!!

  • One

    Brutal

  • Martin

    To those who say this building is boring. Pause for a moment. Who says a building has to be exciting or entertaining? I suspect you have been overdosed on zaha-esque self-indulgence.

    I applaud the relative quietness of this building – it provides a nice canvas for the democratic process.

  • andi

    oh no
    don’t bring zaha into discution.
    let us enjoy this.

  • zyl

    cool very good!

  • Mfriday

    For those who think this van Egeraat's hall is boring : could you elaborate please?