ZAANSTAD – The new city hall in the Dutch city of Zaanstad pays homage to Holland’s traditional canal house architecture.

The exterior façade is coloured mostly in hues of green, accented with pops of orange and white. The building is divided into various sections which resemble modern canal houses, rising high and narrow and topped with a triangular gabled roof.

‘The features of the local architecture have been applied in a new way,’ says architect Sjoerd Soeters of Soeters Van Eldonk Architecten. ‘Zaandam houses are famous for their typical façade architecture: the wooden façades are very flat and painted in all sorts of green hues, and the architectural image is reinforced by the use of white cornices, windows and scrolls.’

As Zaandam houses were also heavily influenced by different styles and periods in history, the new city hall also reflects interpretations of international architecture from Italy or France (think Rossi, Venturi, Pei, Piano and Natalini).