The recently completed Het Anker community center in the Netherlands is a zigzagging multi-purpose complex that flows with the configuration of the sloping site. Designed by Rotterdam-based MoederscheimMoonen Architects, the community center includes educational facilities, performance halls and recreational spaces meant to draw together people from different neighborhoods.
Located in Zwolle, the Netherlands, the complex aims to link the Westenholte and Stadshagen districts and connect with a large and diverse group of users. It takes advantage of the height differences found at the site, with a considerable share of the complex situated below ground. Taking this position in the landscape as a point of departure, the complex seems to almost literally fold open thanks to its striking roof, which opens out onto the key public zones.
The exterior is dominated by a zigzagging roof surface, while the slopes of the surrounding landscape and the building intersect half-way along the side wall, where the design incorporates a grand entrance area. Both entrances come together at a recess in the façade, where they are linked by a staircase.
“In our view, a public building’s appeal isn’t always determined by its transparency. It’s also about drawing people in and veiling what they see,” said the architects.