Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Regiocentrale Zuid in Maasbracht, The Netherlands by Wiel Arets Architects
April 24th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
The river Meuse serves many different purposes. Next to being an important transport route for inland shipping, its banks accommodate agriculture, plants, wildlife and recreational activity. The water that flows through the Meuse is used as drinking water, for industrial processes and as cooling water. Its summer bed is an important source of sand and gravel. In the event of flooding the danger must be gone against.
The project Maaswerken combines the coordination of all aims regarding water management. The Regiocentrale, from which barges, bridges and sluices between Maastricht and Venlo are to be steered, is a base part of the long-term development. Therefore the building is located at a half distance in Maasbracht along the bike and walkway of the harbour, offering a visual connection to the Juliankanal and Centrumboulevard. Its prominent position corresponds with its multiple functions. Beside the mechanical instrumentation, a lobby, a nautical and training centre and public educational facilities are accommodated.
The recognisable polygonal volume, with its rounded down corners hovering over the water, is shaped up from the centrally placed operational space. As well as public and staff entrances under the generous cantilevers are accessed via bridges. An inner void filled with water defines the core of the building. Its water level climbs and falls according to the height of the water surface in the sluizen. The fact of 7 days and 24 hour service induces the necessity of privacy measures and residence qualities. Blackout curtains arrange for the particular changing acoustic, light and viewing conditions. A roof terrace offering a panoramic view of the beautiful and vast surroundings compensates for the absence of a related ground garden.
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