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14/04/2022 Comments (0) Architecture, Environment, Other, Real Estate, Technology

Utrecht: an industrial district transformed into a centre of work and leisure and a destination

The Werkspoor district has long been a place of assembly for large-scale metal constructions for civil engineering. Most of the buildings have now been demolished. But two buildings act as catalysts for the district: the Werkspoorkathedraal (a food court also used for events) and the Werkspoor Factory.

This huge industrial warehouse (175 metres long) is typical of the local industrial heritage. During the renovation, the client accepted the challenge of preserving the building by adding a wide range of work-related functions. The Werkspoor Factory is home to many companies, ranging from small creative start-ups to a large brewery. Accommodation service is available, as well as an event space (even a bowling alley) to stimulate learning the production process. 

  • Werkspoor Utrecht © Stijnstijl Fotografie
    Werkspoor Utrecht © Stijnstijl Fotografie
  • Werkspoor Utrecht © Zecc Architecten
    Werkspoor Utrecht © Zecc Architecten
  • Werkspoor Utrecht © Stijnstijl Fotografie
    Werkspoor Utrecht © Stijnstijl Fotografie

Past and present come together in an inspiring way

At the top of the building, there is a large multifunctional space for various purposes: parties, conferences, workshops and meetings, with a breath-taking view over the Rhine. This space allows wide public use. In addition, the old crane path has been preserved to recall the rough and industrial past of the place. On the ground floor, several shops are connected in a spacious and visual way. Through the central entrance, you can see the entire height of the warehouse and the two staircases leading upstairs. The characteristic skylight and the steel window frames have been restored and fitted with insulating glazing. 

Finally, this rehabilitation approach targets the entire area (and not just the two buildings) to make it more pleasant and suitable for mixed-use. There are even guided tours of the neighbourhood. Werkspoor also won the ABN AMRO Circular Economy Award in 2018. 

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