Bovenbouwwerkplaats is the large-scale transformation of the former Dutch Railways workshop building in Utrecht.
By reinterpreting the original qualities of the place while adding a number of contemporary elements, Studioninedots revived the building into a space full of wonder.
Studioninedots, in collaboration with DELVA, is also designing the Utrecht development area Wisselspoor, of which section 1 surrounds the Bovenbouwwerkplaats. With Wisselspoor, we committed to our own Cityplot concept, which involves developing unexpected locations into lively urban neighbourhoods in an organic interaction with residents. Small and medium-sized buildings are organised at the edges of the plot, creating opportunities for truly high-quality and green public space in the heart and between the buildings. Cityplot neighbourhoods are low in traffic, further protecting the quality of the outdoor areas.
By merging a wide range of ambitions and functions that are normally spread across an area into the Bovenbouwwerkplaats, a small-scale urban core where anything can happen is formed. Underneath the existing roof, they created one open space that will be home to new neighbourhood facilities and creative entrepreneurs. The space stimulates the senses yet invites your own interpretation of its use.
A cut-out from the existing structure in the core has made room for a completely new orthogonal volume, perceptible both indoors and externally. This object houses a five-storey mobility hub for 175 (shared) cars and bicycles.
To set a firm architectural gesture, Studioninedots introduced the Curtain, an abstract and shiny skin that fully encloses the new object. The Curtain gives the volume a scalelessness, making it appear lower and less massive from the outside than it truly is.
Photography: Sebastian van Damme