Rotterdam, NL | Amsterdam, NL
The Leidsche Rijn fire station in Utrecht is in Het Zand, a central zone of the estate. The severe and monolithic L-shaped building is in sharp contrast with the remains of the original setting. All the same, the building seems to belong there just as much as the old farms, orchards and ditches that are a part of the urban development plan.
That quality lies in the industrial and timeless look that confer on it an aura of apparent inviolability. This effect is achieved above all by a self-supporting façade composed of serially produced, light grey concrete panels. This austere pattern also creates an appropriately reliable and representative impression.
After all, it houses not only the fire station for the new estate but also the head office for the whole of Utrecht. This impression is repeated in the interior where the use of a large amount of wood has led to a stylish yet functional atmosphere.
In the northern façade of the high-rise building large windows dominate the composition, while narrow, elongated ones have been placed in the southern façade. This distinction, partly dictated by climatological considerations, gives the already prominent building two different faces. There is more variation in the openings in the façade on the ground floor, partly because of the presence there of the main entrance and the doors that provide access to the material.
The low-rise building, with a number of large skylights, serves as depot and sleeping quarters for the firemen. The high-rise building consists mainly of floors with offices that can be divided up flexibly. The top floor, with a patio in its heart, provides facilities for conference rooms that guarantee a fabulous and also functional view of the expanding city.
Location: Utrecht, NL
My Role: Architect