Hattem, the smallest Hanseatic city in the Netherlands, has a fortified town centre with the former castle, the church and city farms. The church and the surrounding space form a National Monument. The reason for the redevelopment of the National Monument is the replacement of the ill chestnut trees, the need to build a new separate sewer system, adjustments to the traffic circulation and improvement of walkability.
Simplicity and stratification
OKRA made a design for this special place with great care and attention. The main form of the space is represented in a floor of reused cobblestones. The boundary between the former cemetery (the sacred) and the Market Square (the secular) is subtly marked in the floor. A ring of honey trees stands as sentries around the church. The lighting plan of Studio DL provides a layered lighting plan with the filtering of light. The new square is a space to explore and meet.
Historic town, new technology
In the combination of the square floor, drainage and habitat for the trees, an innovative detailing has been applied. Rainwater from the roofs is used for irrigation of the trees. A sandwich construction under the square floor ensures sufficient load-bearing capacity of the floor and a qualitatively sustainable location for the trees. The combination of new techniques and careful design makes the church square of Hattem the symbol of the rich past for years to come.