City Archive Delft

Category Winner Working Together

City Archive Delft; Brick Award 2020 Category Winner Category "Working Together"; Architects: Office Winhov, Gottlieb Paludan Architects, Photo:  Stefan Müller
© Stefan Müller
City Archive Delft; Brick Award 2020 Category Winner Category "Working Together"; Architects: Office Winhov, Gottlieb Paludan Architects, Photo:  Stefan Müller
© Stefan Müller

Key facts

City Archive Delft

Architects  Gottlieb Paludan Architects (DK) and Office Winhov (NL) 

Location   Delft, Netherlands

Construction period   05/2016 - 10/2017

Nomination category   Working Together

Purpose   Offices, Archive

Brick type   Facing bricks



 

About the project

The Delft City Archive is a repository of knowledge, a treasure chamber and a place of study at the same time. It has the somewhat contradictory task of protecting valuable documents from external influences while making them accessible to the public. This new building combines these two functions in the form of a huge, abstracted bookshelf. 

The City Archive is divided in two parts: an L-shaped plinth containing the study halls, cafeteria and offices, and above that a closed cube with the archive. In keeping with its public function, the bright concrete base is completely surrounded by story-high window openings. With its bright color, it is reminiscent of the many white-plastered public buildings in the otherwise brick-dominated historic center of Delft. 

With their geometric arrangements, the fully enclosed facades of the archive area make one think of a bookshelf: slender slabs made of prefabricated concrete parts form the "shelves", between which brick pilasters, reminiscent of book spines, protrude at various lenghts. The building presents itself as a tectonic line composition with a depth effect. The degree of abstraction of the reliefs meets the haptic qualities of the bricks and creates a sculptural solitaire that is both closed and accessible.

“The new Delft City Archive refers to the tradition of brick architecture in the historic center, which gives this important civic building a timeless and robust character.” 

Not just bookshelves, but also the monochrome reliefs by the Delft artist Jan Schoonhoven served as sources of inspiration for the City Archive.