Delfland Water Authority

Delfland Water Authority

Phoenixstraat 32, 2611 AL Delft, Netherlands | View Map
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Delfland Water Authority

Mecanoo as Architecture, interior and landscape

The Delfland Water Authority is located in a historical building on the Oude Delft: the Gemeenlandshuis. The monumental part was built in 1505 as a house for Jan de Huyter. The sandstone facade was unique for that time and it was one of the few buildings to survive the 1536 city fire. More than 100 years later, the house came into the hands of the Delfland Water Authority.

Over time the Water Authority has been extended to include several adjacent monumental buildings, and in 1975 a new building on the Phoenixstraat was added. In 2014, the Water Authority decided to revise its housing strategy. The most important task was to make what was once a fragmentary complex, a whole and transform it into a pleasant, flexible working environment that meets the requirements of modern time and the identity of the Water Authority, while maintaining the special characteristics of the monumental parts.

Mecanoo chose the theme ‘View of Delft’ as the starting point for the design. By making breakthroughs at strategic locations, a clear route has been created. The route links special interior objects and see-through in the building, but also connects the inside and the outside with views to the characteristic turret, the surrounding monumental buildings, the Old Church, and the courtyard.

The historic rooms have been restored and the technical instal­lations have been (unnoticeably) renewed. Where building parts adjoin each other, a clear node has been created. Elements from different periods create beautiful contrasts. Vegetation is laid out in a playful geometric pattern, through which walking paths cross. Here and there, private squares have been created where one can sit in the green. Where once stood a busy loading and unloading area, now lays a welcoming oasis of peace.

Boosting collaboration in a complex of buildings

Silo as Spatial identity

A complete renovation/restoration has transformed the Delfland Water Authority headquarters, enhancing the building complex’ sustainability. SILO designed creative elements that stimulate social connectivity, spark dialogue or provide privacy in an open office environment.

Advanced waterway systems and antique water maps formed the starting point for SILO’s research into a distinctive visual language. Using 3D animation software, SILO created a virtual water world of millions of droplet. The dramatic spectacle of static and dynamic patterns encompasses the organization's core tasks.

In partnership with the TextielLab in Tilburg, an iconic tapestry was developed for the central hall based on the virtual water map. Different layers of the water map were linked to specific textile yarns. The combination of different types of wool, viscose, cotton, copper and reflective yarn causes a wavy effect. The various woven lanes have been combined to form the 50 m2 tapestry.

Segments of the water map were also applied to the many glass partition walls. Depending on the density of the droplets, they offer transparency or privacy in the office environment.

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Project Credits
Architecture, interior and landscape
Spatial identity
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