Based on the new urban design for the area south of the central station of Utrecht “Westflank Noord”, the municipality made a new zoning plan. The development of Westflank Noord is complex because in this place many interests come together: the interest of local residents for a development that takes into account the quality of life in the inner city and the human dimension; the interest of the municipality of Utrecht to create space for new and attractive residential and business functions in the western part of the Master Plan area, and with a leap in scale compared to the current situation; and the importance for the railway station for an urban development that makes a positive contribution to the functioning of the public transport terminal.
The main objective of the Master Plan is to create a new center for Utrecht by integrating the new station area with the old city and to achieve synergy between them. Also, parts of Utrecht, which up to now are experienced as stand-alone, will be connected in the future by means of an elevated ground level a.o. Under this elevated platform parking, bicycle parking, bus stations, shipping, etc. will be situated. The raised area has a direct connection to the station and ensures a smooth transition from “Hoogh Catharijne” to the surrounding area and the city center. The new city hall has already been built on this elevated level and an adjacent office building is being developed. In this new plan the Leidsche Rijn and Sijpesteijnkade are to be restored as an important connection to the city center. Integration of commercial facilities, focused on the traffic flow, in the plinth of the new buildings at the Van Sijpesteijnkade is a logical consequence. In addition, it directly contributes to the urban character and the liveliness of the quay. At the Sijpesteijnkade the raised ground level is ended with a group of residential buildings. Here the metropolitan dynamics of the new western station area intertwine with the urban quality of life of the quay along the Leidsche Rijn. The residential buildings follow the highrise of the offices through a 90-meter high tower. A series of quayside buildings of between 25 and 45 meters high form the transition to the surroundings. In this series of buildings along the quay stands a monument above which the residential tower is designed.
Next to the monument a wide staircase connects the quay with the upper surface. On the other side between the monument and the new corner building lies the main entrance of the new residential building. Emphasizing the monument while also marking the entrance of the new building. The corner building marks the beginning of the new Sijpesteijnkade with commercial functions at ground floor and a special housing program for young adults above. The monument has a central role in all resident activities. Maintaining its own entrance from the quay, but is also accessible from the new entrance hall. On the roof of the monument a common garden for all residents is located. The tower houses 2 and 3 bedroom apartments from 45 to 65 m2.
Given the noise sensitive area for housing, a façade is designed that can cater to all the different sound levels from the environment. On the railway side are conservatories are made and on the south side the balconies have extra tall glass balustrades. The conservatories and balconies are well integrated in the light-colored concrete facade grid that follows the contours of the tower on all sides. The concrete grid has deep recesses which make the tower recognizable as a landmark from a great distance. On the roof of the tower a communal terrace gives residents a great view over the old town and the surrounding landscape.