Architects: SVP Architectuur & Stedenbouw
- Year: 2019
Lead Architects: Marcel Steeghs, Wilco Huppelschoten
- Clients: Hoogheemraadschap de Stichtse Rijnlanden
- City: Utrecht
- Country: The Netherlands
Text description provided by the architects. The new entrance-building of the Waterboard Association ‘de Stichtse Rijnlanden’, has become the eye-catcher for the completely renewed wastewater sewage treatment plant in the city of Utrecht. Before, the sewage treatment plant was hidden away between dense green borders surrounding the plot. With the build of the new entrance building called ‘Gatebuilding’, the sewage treatment plant now clearly presents itself to the inhabitants of the city. The new plant uses a state of the art technology called Nereda. This biological process uses less energy for purification, takes up less space, and has a higher capacity. In addition to the design of the entrance-building, SVP was also responsible for the supervision of the whole site development and the integration of the new sewage treatment installation in new landscape design.
Gate building. The entrance-building is designed as a gate: the building literarily and figuratively forms the entrance to the water purification area. Anyone who wants to enter the terrain has to report to the gate and access will be granted by the reception staff. The office spaces, canteen, and excursion rooms are located along the length of the entire building, providing excellent views over the site area. It also gives a maximum overview of all the employees of the sewage treatment plant. From the reception, the transparent entrance hall presents a 180 degrees view from the main road to the purification area.
Relationship with the terrain. The approximately 750m2 gate-building can be characterized as a building which is both strict and playful. The brick pendants have been designed on a rigid grid, which gives body and structure to the building. This feature also suits the formal character of the client. The playful character of the building symbolizes the freedom of nature seen around, and the purification of the water. These characteristics can be found in a number of details. The masonry, for example, is set back in relation to the pendants in the façade.
By playing with the openness of the façade in accordance with the functions behind it, privacy can be created where needed but also openness where representative rooms like the entrance hall and the excursion rooms are situated. The perforated pattern in the actual gate refers to the image of rippling water, making a reference to the main function of the sewage treatment plant.
The gate of the building divides the building into two sections. On one side of the entrance, the administrative and meeting functions are situated. The other side of the building is used as a workspace and offers space for the storage rooms and the laboratory. The main section of the building offers the possibility to receive large groups of visitors in the future, to explain the latest treatment technology in the complex. This way the gate-building can give important insight into one of the important functions in the city and thus create more awareness among the inhabitants of the city.