Transforming the former Knoop barracks into a government office

Higher quality through a sustainable partnership

Rijkskantoor De Knoop

The Dutch Central Government Real Estate Agency has commissioned the consortium R Creators, a partnership between Strukton, Facilicom and Ballast Nedam, to redevelop the former Knoopkazerne barracks in Utrecht into a government office building: Rijkskantoor De Knoop. The contract consists of design, construction, maintenance and operation. Once the building opens its doors in 2018, the twenty-year operation phase will begin.

This outdated campus has been redeveloped in a sustainable way to create an office space for various government agencies. The project involved a combination of demolition, renovation and extension work. During the onset of the project, we tried to demolish as little as possible and reuse as much as possible. The shell of the former barracks will be transformed and expanded into government offices and will include a conference center that can accommodate a thousand visitors. This conference center and the transformed barracks will be linked by an atrium. The design for the area surrounding the building includes a square and a temporary pavilion.

Working as a single team

Partnership was an important criterion during the tendering phase, not just because the contract has a term of twenty years, but also because R Creators’ facilities organisation will be working together with its counterpart at Rijkskantoor De Knoop as a single team during the management phase. This is the first time that service and partnership have been given such high priority in a PPP tender. By contributing our knowledge and experience of construction, maintenance and building usage, we can achieve a higher level of quality for the client.

Logistical puzzle

The area around Utrecht Centraal station, where the former barracks are located, forms part of the ‘Station Area Master Plan’, a city-centre modernisation project. Other buildings and infrastructure are also being modernised in parallel with the redevelopment of Rijkskantoor De Knoop. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the logistical puzzle that must be solved when building in an inner-city area. The advantage is that, in the near future, the building will stand at the heart of a vibrant, city-center environment.

Needs of users put first

The needs of users were a central element when it came to considering the design of the building, the interior and the service. R Creators examined these needs thoroughly and translated them into an integrated design. Rather than being standalone elements, the building, the interior and the service each enhance one another. This integrated approach will encourage visitors to come to Rijkskantoor De Knoop. When design solutions were being developed, the emphasis was placed not on initial costs, but on the total costs over twenty years.

More information?

Walter van Gurp

Managing Director Ballast Nedam Asset management

Walter began his career in the railway sector, where he worked on various formula developments such as the implementation of the well-known OV chip card. Since 2008, he has been working on integral projects within Ballast Nedam. A part of the building sector in which he uses his knowledge about tender and contract management daily.

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