Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Client: RINO groep, G.L. van den Bosch BV
Program: classrooms, study rooms, lobby-café, offices
Size: 3.000 m2
Image credits: Lucas van der Wee
The RINO groep is a regional educational centre for people working in the fields of mental healthcare. Collaborating with up to 800 external teachers they facilitate in a multitude of courses and in-service trainings. Housed in the centre of Utrecht, in an outdated and hard to find place, reA started in advising them on the suitability of potential alternatives in the neighbourhood. The choice fell on Oudenoord 6, an edifice that was originally built in 1969 for the University of Utrecht. In the meantime the structure had been altered many times, foremost in 1993 by the RGD. The original rational architecture had been lost in the process. This became one of the ambitions in the renovation, to take the original architecture as a directive. Due to a tight budget this was done while making use of the facades as they were. The window frames were kept , except for the ground floor, just like the metal panelling. The architecture was restored by adding metal vertical slats in a frame. The original panelling has gotten just a layer of paint. The transparent ground floor was restored with a new fully glazed curtain wall.
The main focus of the renovation was on the updating of the interior. The cast concrete ceilings, beams and columns have been stripped and kept bare and rough. The new and high standard technical installations have been carefully integrated in the existing structure. The concrete ceilings have textile tubes for the ventilation, metal panelling for noise absorption and led lighting fixtures. New partitions, as limited as possible, are made of glass or lightweight white walls. Throughout the building high density bamboo is applied for its warm character, in floors, furniture and as verticals slats along the glass walls of the classrooms.