We’ve already shown you the exterior of the new city hall in Zaanstad, the Netherlands … now, take a peek at its unique interior!

‘We were inspired by typical suburban patterns in the Zaan region, where houses stand on two sides of a narrow footpath,’ says architect Sjoerd Soeters of Soeters Van Eldonk Architecten. ‘The structure of the building reflects this loose pattern: the workhouses stand on two sides of a central axis. Small and large meeting areas, lounge spaces, coffeecorners, elevators and staircases make a buzzing area on the central path.’

Visitors don’t enter the building on the ground floor; instead, they cross over Ponte Vecchio style bridges that span over a nearby road and land at 7m high inside the structure.

The entrance opens into a large foyer; below is the ‘belly’ of the building, with archives and access to public transit and bus station. The massive structure spans 23,103-sq-m in total.

‘The design was inspired by the wish to generate optimum interaction between people inside and outside the building,’ Soeters says.