The department of the Dutch Railway NS Stations is in Katreinetoren in Utrecht, Netherlands. It develops and services railway stations in the Netherlands.
55m high tower with 15 stories is built right on top of Utrecht Centraal, the biggest railway station in the Netherlands. The width of the building is based on the dimensions of the railway tracks below.
A reconstruction took place in 1999 when the Brutalist mid-seventies building was wrapped in a glass skin. The interior is dominated by this concrete structure: the elevator core and structural beams remain in sight.
The main idea is to introduce a series of perpendicular walls that will organize the space. They can become storage spaces by ‘inflating’ these partitioning walls.
The shelves can absorb most of the clutter that normally spreads through the office, such as wardrobes, bookshelves, flip boards, archive, and bulletin boards.
The open plan with the thick walls divides the space in several clusters of different sizes. The dividing wall units can be placed in different ‘densities’ to create fitting floor plans for the various departments. As opposed to a regular layout with cells linked to a corridor, a continuous, flowing space is created. With this unit an endless number of configurations are possible.
The current floor plan consist typical cellular offices along the facade and an oversized hallway in the center. The main asset of this system is increased connectivity; instead of a workforce relatively isolated in cells, here interaction will come natural.
Each floor will be introduced by a ‘special’, singular piece of furniture located at the elevator core that represents the different departments. This ‘conversation pit’ is a kind of welcoming gesture.