initiative group - Connecting Cartesius:
Maatschap voor Communicatie
The Werkspoorfabriek is a factory hall situated on the Cartesius industrial estate in Utrecht. The building was developed for the users at the time (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). In the former factory, trains were made for the Dutch railways. The hall’s construction, the yellow crane gantries and the old brickwork bear evidence to a rich history. You can almost sense what took place in the hall back then.
The conversion of former factory buildings is becoming increasingly common in the Netherlands. The main reason is that new-use is starting to be a more attractive proposition than new-build, and this hall offers an appealing perspective. Its location in particular (Tractieweg 50-51) is an ideal place for companies, not far from the centre and close to the A2 motorway.
New-use is about giving a new function to an existing, possibly historic, building where the identity is retained as far as possible. The building in question here is a hall with historic elements that it would be a pity to adapt or remove. For these reasons, the decision was made to draw up a plan in which the distinctive elements would remain as much as possible. For instance, the strips of glass in the façade are being kept and the roof lights will stay intact; after all, they provide a fantastic incidence of light.
In the long hall. a number of work pavilions have been designed, which stand apart from the existing building shell. This means that the existing shell will serve as a 'raincoat' for the new work pavilions; in other words, a 'box in a box' is an creative way of reusing existing elements. The pavilions consist of large, open floors that have their own climate and are eminently suitable for the new world of work. All the supporting functions are shared and are located in the space surrrounding the pavilions.
In the study into the structural solution for the floors, three variants were investigated. In the first instance, an investigation was carried out into a standard hollowcore floor slab, in particular because this type of floor is implemented increasingly often, due to the ease with which the ducting can be guided through the floor. Subsequently, a technological floor by the manufacturer Slimline was looked at as a possibility; this floor is known for its great flexibility. Finally, the option of wooden floor joists was considered, because of the low costs involved with this type of floor.
In addition, housing creative companies in the factory building could give the vicinity a boost. It offers a special location for distinctive entrepreneurs and companies. Connecting Cartesius will lead to the Werkspoorfabriek developing into an exceptional and lively spot in Utrecht!