Projects -

Kromhout Barracks

Herculeslaan 1
Utrecht

2006—2010/2012

Programme
Office complex (total area 19 ha):
offices (ca. 78,000 m²), conference centre and living quarters for 150 staff members, sports facilities, a health centre, restaurant (combined ca. 14,200 m²) and underground parking (20,000m²). Restoration of 3 national monuments that belong to the New Dutch Water Line.

Client
Komfort (Ballast Nedam, Strukton, John Laing)

In collaboration with
Karres en Brands landschapsarchitecten, architectenbureau Fritz, Arup

Awards
BNA Building of the year 2012 - nominee for Region North-West/Centre
PPP Awards 2011, best technical team - 1st prize


The Kromhout Barracks stand on the outskirts of Utrecht, on the former site of Fort ‘t Vossegat, part of the New Dutch Waterline defences. The project contains the new headquarters of the Royal Dutch Armed Forces and of a number of other defence units. The complex has total of 3,400 workspaces. In addition, the nineteen-hectare site hosts sports, conference and restaurant facilities, as well as accommodation for defence personnel. The PPP project was contracted out to the Komfort consortium which thereby assumed responsibility for the design, building, financing, maintenance and operation of the complex for a period of 25 years. This form of tender (DBFMO) represents a saving of around 15% for the Ministry of Defence. Three original features of the fort were retained: the 12-arch bridge, the drummer’s hut and the bomb-proof watch house. MVSA, working with restoration architects Bureau Fritz en Karres and Brands landscape architects, used these three listed buildings as a cultural-historical guide for the design of the new Kromhout Barracks. Attention was paid to the integration and mutual support of buildings and landscape. The functions are concentrated to allow for high-quality open space and the possibility of future expansion.The plan consists of three parts – the Field, the Wedge and the Strip. The Field contains a loose configuration of buildings containing sporting facilities, accommodation, conference spaces and a restaurant. The Wedge is the backbone of the spatial masterplan: it is a centrally located, wedge-shaped park containing the drummer’s hut, the bomb-proof watch house and an accommodation block. To its east, in the Strip, the office buildings stand at right angles to the main route through the park. On its other side, the Strip is bounded by the waterway.
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