Train control center ProRail Utrecht
The VL-post Utrecht (train control center), a design by De Jong Gortemaker Algra Architects, has captured the International Architecture Award 2016. The prize is awarded annually by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press.
There were in total 132 winning projects from 43 different countries. The VL-post Utrecht is the only Dutch project on the list. Not only buildings are eligible for the prize, also landscape architecture and urban design projects can participate. There were hundreds of entries; eventually a shortlist of 370 projects was submitted to the jury.
In the building, in which ProRail controls all train traffic in the region, the users are the focus. The space covers approximately 4500 m², 1000 m² of which for the signal room, and it offers room for 100 employees. The use of steel and glass has given the VL-post an industrial and robust look. It is a sustainable building with triple glazing and an ‘energy roof’ with solar panels and planting for extra insulation. The train control center has been in use since 2015.
Photos: Christian Richters